By Nicholas Carlson
Sonny Dickson is from Melbourne, Australia. He says he's "old enough to drink." According to Fortune's Philip Elmer-Dewitt, Dickson spent his summer driving the people who run Apple absolutely nuts. Dickson keeps posting pictures of iPhone parts on his blog, SonnyDickson.com. Plastic shells. Glass screens. Metal cases. The problem for Apple is that these are parts for iPhones that aren't for sale yet. The photos are "leaks."
Here, for example, is a photo of a gold iPhone 5S that Dickson posted to his blog Friday night:
Dickson says he buys them from people who "work for Apple in China." Dickson says Australian National Security visited his site 67 times this summer and that Apple employees visited his site 900 times in August, but that he isn't worried. He told Elmer-Dewitt, "Some people think I may be breaking the law, but they don't really know what I do. I'm not breaking any laws that other people don't do."
Dickson says he makes enough money from his site that he could "go over to Louis Vuitton today and buy one of their bags with the money I made this month." Back in 2010, 21-year-old Brian Hogan was in a bar in Northern California when he found a funky looking phone. It was an iPhone 4 prototype. Hogan sold the phone to gadget blog Gizmodo for $5,000.
But Hogan didn't ever get to spend the $5,000 on Louis Vuitton. He had to pay "much more" for lawyers. After Gizmodo published photos of the iPhone 4 prototype, Apple launched a very aggressive investigation. Subpoenas were served to Gizmodo and Hogan was quickly outed. He eventually paid a small fine and served a year of probation.