They might, however, promise one story in return for another.
Apple is suing Simon Lancaster, a former product design architect at the company, accusing him of selling trade secrets and details on unreleased Apple products to an unnamed media correspondent. Lancaster apparently did this in hopes of gaining publicity for his next venture after leaving Apple. AppleInsider first reported on the legal filing.
From the legal filing:
November 1, 2019 was Lancaster’s final day of employment at Apple and his credentials to log into the secure Apple corporate network were set to expire at midnight. But at 10:24 p.m. that same day, Lancaster used his credentials to log onto Apple’s secure corporate network from a location outside Apple facilities. On information and belief, Lancaster used this access to download additional SAI before his login credentials expired. In particular, Lancaster downloaded confidential information that would assist his new employer.
Mere days after Lancaster’s final day at Apple, Lancaster had a call with the Correspondent and later congratulated the Correspondent about the success of an article that disclosed SAI [Secret Apple Information about "Project X"] that Lancaster had misappropriated in his final weeks of employment at Apple.
My take: The guessing game begins.
From Daring Fireball's John Gruber:
Project X could be anything, but it sure sounds like Apple’s VR/AR glasses project. There just aren’t that many secret Apple projects that have been written about, and Project X does not sound like Project Titan (the car). There aren’t that many candidates for the “correspondent”, either. The Information ran a piece bylined by Wayne Ma, Alex Heath, and Nick Wingfield on 11 November 2019, “Apple Eyes 2022 Release for AR Headset, 2023 for Glasses”. That seems like it’s stretching the meaning of “mere days” after Lancaster’s November 1 departure.
Then there’s Bloomberg, which ran a piece solo bylined by Mark Gurman on 21 October 2019, “Apple’s Smart Glasses Could Make 2020 the Year of AR”:
Such applications are central to Apple’s long-awaited AR glasses, which are expected to have holographic displays in their lenses. Apple has targeted 2020 for the release of its AR headset, an attempt to succeed where Google Glass failed years ago. The glasses are expected to synchronize with a wearer’s iPhone to display things such as texts, emails, maps, and games over the user’s field of vision. The company has considered including an App Store with the headset, as it does on Apple TV streaming devices and the Apple Watch. It’s hiring experts in graphics and game development to establish the glasses as the leader in a new product category and, if all goes perfectly, an eventual successor to the iPhone.