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?
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.