During a testimony yesterday, a former Samsung manager admitted to leaking confidential information about the company providing components for Apple's first iPad roughly a month before the device was formally announced.
Bloomberg reports that Suk-Joo Hwang, who had worked at Samsung Electronics as a manager up until June 2011, disclosed information about supplying Apple with tablet-sized LCDs during a lunch with Global Research executive James Fleishman and a hedge fund manager in 2009. The testimony came as part of an insider trading trial targeting Fleishman.
In Hwang's testimony, he describes telling Fleishman and the unnamed hedge fund manager about the specifics of Samsung's shipments to Apple, including the displays. Hwang then said the pair seemed excited about the information. That was followed by Hwang noticing another patron at the restaurant staring at him, causing Hwang to "freak out" and hide his Samsung employee name badge.
Samsung ended up losing a supply contract with Apple not long after that lunch, which Hwang attributed to that meeting. Despite getting a promotion from Samsung two months after the lunch, Hwang was fired by the company in June 2011.
Besides Samsung, Bloomberg notes Hwang had worked as a consultant for Primary Global between 2004 and 2010, including a six-month stint as an anonymous consultant.
Apple's original plans to debut a tablet computer was perhaps one of the worst-kept secrets in tech. Between detailed patents and whispers from contract manufacturers and insiders, many of the details about the price and hardware were known ahead of its release in late January of last year.