Have you ever wondered how case designers and analysts always seem to know information about Apple products before they hit masses? It seems like every solid piece of evidence we get about upcoming devices are from accessory makers or market analysts that have sources inside Apple’s supply chain.

Being one of these “tipsters” could make for a really good side job, as long as you are compensated well and you don’t get caught. Well, it looks like a couple of Foxconn employees missed the memo, as they were recently arrested on related charges.

For those who don’t know, Foxconn manufactures electronics and components for many large tech companies including HP, Sony, and obviously, Apple. Many of the company’s iDevices are constructed at Foxconn’s factory in Shenzhen, China. You may recall all the negative attention the plant received last year after a string of work-related employee suicides.

Digitimes has translated a report from Chinese-langague sznews.com that tells the latest story. Apparently several online retailers in China had iPad 2 protective cases available to sell, well before the device was announced. This led Foxconn to believe that there were employees leaking information on Apple’s latest tablet, and they reported it to the police.

After a brief investigation, local law enforcement arrested three suspects on December 26th of last year. Since then, the police have gathered enough evidence to officially charge the three former Foxconn employees for violating the company’s trade secrets. The charges were filed at the end of last month, and the three defendants are currently awaiting trial.

Since Apple thrives on the secrecy of upcoming products, I can assume they are looking to prosecute to the full extent of the law. The fact that a Foxconn employee reportedly committed suicide 2 years ago after losing an iPhone, suggests that most folks would rather not cross the Cupertino company.

What do you think?