Truth: Dun­can Bell

Gad­get ru­mours are of­ten bet­ter than the re­al­ity, but Black­Berry wants to ban them. Surely it should just be happy that any­one cares?

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

Black­Berry boss John Chen took to the com­pany’s of­fi­cial blog re­cently to rant about leaks. Noth­ing to do with his “faucet”, as our Amer­i­can cousins in­sist on call­ing it. No, he was talk­ing about people leak­ing de­tails of up­com­ing phones. Ob­vi­ously.

Mr Chen, it seems, will sue your arse if you try to leak any­thing he doesn’t want com­ing out (sorry, that sounds dis­gust­ing, but you get my drift). But Mr Chen, in my opin­ion, is dead wrong here, and might even be has­ten­ing the demise of his own brand.

It al­ready seems that the busi­ness mar­ket‚ Black­Berry’s for­mer bedrock‚ has left it and will never go back. This means the firm’s fu­ture is now squarely in the con­sumer space, and a cru­cial part of that mar­ket is play­ing the ru­mours and leaks game.

Let’s face it, ru­mours and spec­u­la­tion are all part of the fun of be­ing a gad­get fan. We love “leaks”, whether they be in­formed guesses, ut­ter click­bait non­sense or even ac­tual, proper info. So of­ten, what the next iPhone or Galaxy turns out to ac­tu­ally be like is rather dis­ap­point­ing com­pared to all the spec­u­la­tion and ren­ders that pre­ceded it.

Leaks are also a key part in people’s ini­tial buy­ing de­ci­sions. How many times have you thought, “Yeah, that sounds in­ter­est­ing‚ I can’t wait for that to come out,” be­fore a gad­get’s of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment? If you’re go­ing to be sad­dled with a phone for 18 to 24 months, you want to feel ex­cited about buy­ing it.

If Black­Berry re­ally be­lieves that mak­ing pun­ters wait un­til it’s good and ready to even talk about its new wares is the right way to whip up in­ter­est in them, it’s wrong. And I will let you into a lit­tle se­cret: right now it’s not im­por­tant who knows about forth­com­ing BB hand­sets; what’s cru­cial is that some­one, some­where, ac­tu­ally gives a damn.

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