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Apple forced to pull back curtain on iPhone secrets

Updated 10 years ago
Published Oct 19th, 2012 10:15AM EDT

Few technology companies are as secretive as Apple (AAPL). In fact, Apple may be one of the most secretive companies in the country, period. Despite the effort Apple puts into keeping secrets, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has ordered the company to pull back the curtain on a secret that has kept analysts guessing for more than five years.

According to court documents filed on October 17th, Judge Koh has demanded that Apple reveal information regarding the profitability of its biggest product, the iPhone. The order relates to the recent trial between Apple and Samsung (005930) in Northern California, where Apple was awarded more than $1 billion in damages after a jury found Samsung guilty of infringing on its protected IP.

Now that the trial is over, Koh wants Apple to justify the massive dollar amount it sought to recoup from Samsung.

“In seeking the very large damages award it sought at trial, Apple stipulated to the introduction of JX1500, a partial summary of its damages calculations, which contains some product-specific unit sales and revenue information,” Judge Koh said in the filing. “As Apple appears to have realized in introducing that exhibit, it cannot both use its financial data to seek multi-billion dollar damages and insist on keeping it secret.”

Koh continued, “As this Court explained in the August 9 Order, Apple has not established that public availability of its product-specific unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data would actually provide its competitors with an advantage, as would be required to find the information sealable under the ‘compelling reasons’ standard.”

[Via Ars Technica]

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.