So you got your hands on an unreleased Apple product -- maybe even a prototype (oooooooh, yummy) -- and you want to let the whole damn world know about it? Good news! There's a tool that people like you often use to share their good fortune with the rest of the world, and it's called "The Internet!"
Here in this wonderful digital land, there are writers and publications that will spread just about anything you can throw at them, as long as it can't actually be verified in any possible way. There are more of these types of websites than you can count on all your fingers and toes, but the good news is that if you get one of them to pay attention to you, the rest will follow suit!
This is all dependent on one thing: having a fantastic, perfect, amazing photo to sacrifice to the rumor gods. Here are the rules you need to follow to become an anonymous Apple deity.
Rule #1: Don't take a photo of a complete gadget
It doesn't matter if you have an entire, functional version of Apple's unreleased phone, tablet or watch, because rumors aren't good if they don't have a little mystery to them. What you really want is a nondescript component that could really be used for absolutely anything. This way you give the rumor sites a bit of room to work in their own theories. The first thing you need to do is disassemble the device in question and find the most unremarkable part of it to focus on.
The first two photos in this lineup won't get the rumor juices flowing, but that tiny, mysterious metal chunk really makes you wonder. What is it? What could it be for? Does it fit inside the new iPad or does it house the long-rumored NFC chip for the iPhone 7s? That's the kind of photo that gets clicks, ladies and gents.
Tip: You get big bonus points if you can make it look like the photo was taken in a manufacturing setting.
Rule #2: Obscure, obscure, obscure
It might be tempting to take a great photo of a meaningless piece of glass or metal and just call it a day, but while it's a fantastic start, it's just doesn't pop unless we make sure there's some sort of unnecessary barrier to viewing the image clearly.
There are a lot of tricks you can use, including placing the object behind a piece of glass, adding a ton of unnecessary glare to the photo by taking it at a weird angle or making sure the object is covered in plastic or other packaging materials. Because if you're going to take the time and substantial risk of leaking a product made by one of the most successful companies on the planet, there's zero reason to remove the sticky plastic.
Tip: Do your best to make sure nobody can read any text on the object. Things like item numbers, manufacturing codes or other information that could lend credence to your claim aren't important to anyone. They just want a vague blob.
Rule #3: Maximum excitement!
If you have access to an unreleased Apple product, you're going to be pretty damn excited about it. The best way to express your excitement is to shake your hands violently as you snap the photo. This technique adds credibility to your claims by showing everyone that you're really nervous about getting caught. If you accidentally snap a perfectly still photo, you can add this "excitement" later in a program like Photoshop.
The final rule
If you've followed these steps, you should have a photo you can be proud of, and one that the internet will eat up with a jealous fervor. Many sites will argue over whether it's true, resorting to social media to vent about why someone does or doesn't believe it, but in the end, none of this matters, because you're the real winner even if nobody knows your name.
That is one gorgeous leaked product photo. What is it? What does it do? Is it for the iPhone? Can we at least pretend it's for the iPhone? Of course we can!
I took the photo, so I know what it really is. You don't. That means that I have the power, and I'm not giving it up. And I'm most certainly not going to tell you the truth, because that's the fourth and final rule of Apple rumormongering: Always leave them wanting more.
[Photo credits: Ivyfield, Smemon, Uka0310, Parislemon, Mvchi, Dafe]