Adventures In Planned Corporate Leaks And Espionage, HTC Mystery Phone Edition
Psst. Wanna know a secret? Most of the blurrycam pics and backroom shots are really planned leaks. They’re not taken by some reader loyal to specific blog that’s willing to risk his job just to pass on something cool. No, most are taken by some random PR flack whose manager then decides what outlet gets the pics and when. Think of it as corporate “astroturfing.” Everyone does it.
Most of these leaks are even planned as part of a given product’s marketing strategy nowadays as marketers know us blogs will help their cause along. Even a little pic of an unannounced BlackBerry spreads around fan sites quicker than the online celebrity tabloids can report the latest juicy scandal. So generally a few months prior to the official announcement, a blurrycam pic of a mildly hot device will appear in the inbox of some niche website, who will quickly watermark the pic as their own and post it. Then the medium to large blogs pick up on it, followed by the news aggregators, who will keep the story alive for weeks.
That’s how it’s supposed to work. But HTC clearly slept through the class when all this was explained. You see, us, along with several other sites all got slightly different pics of the same device tonight. They are all like pieces of a puzzle with the final picture making some random HTC cell phone instead of a unicorn prancing over a river of rainbows — or a mystery device from Microsoft, who tried this technique when promoting the Arc Touch Mouse.
Letâ€™s begin with our pics, which as per the rules of engagement listed above, are watermarked with our logos.