In the months leading to the iPad 2 announcement, several “leaked” case designs coming from China and Taiwan seemed to provide good indication of what the device would look like. These cases were all based on the same design principles such as tapered edges, thinner body and flat back, clearly suggesting manufacturers had access to the same design documents that were quickly spreading across the tech industry. Digitimes reports today Chinese-language publication sznews.com claims three Foxconn employees were arrested and charged for violating Foxconn’s trade secrets and leaking the iPad 2 design weeks before Apple’s announcement.
Several online shopping retailers in China were able to sell iPad 2’s protective case products before the iPad 2 was even launched, leading Foxconn to suspect that there might have been some employees leaking the design of iPad 2 which it reported to the local police.
The local police on December 26, 2010, arrested three employees that were suspected of leaking the design, and officially charged the three employees for violating the company’s trade secrets on March 23, 2011, the reported added.
Foxconn assembles several Apple products such as iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. It’s not the first time products leaks from China have offered a glimpse of future Apple devices months ahead of the official launch, but you might remember the situation last year with case designs for the iPad 2 coming out every few days was pretty bad for Apple. Foxconn also announced its plans to invest in a $12 billion facility in Brazil, and start iPad production there in November.