With the internet growing at an almost exponential rate, access to new information has never been easier. You can find out pretty much anything you want when it comes to who is doing what in music, movies, television, electronics, etc. Leaks have been playing an ever-growing part in the handset industry over the last few years. Whether views as positive or negative, the idea of leaking something is not going to go away. Today, we’ll examine both sides of the coin and find out a little more as to how leak could be good or bad for the handset industry.
A successful leak will build a lot of pre-release hype around the project. Plain and simple. Why not start the buzz about your new handset a few months early. Getting a few pictures online is pretty much all it takes to gauge fan reaction. It can be equated to a movie teaser that comes out a year before the movie hits theaters. It gives the public something to chew on for a bit. See what people are saying, good bad, or indifferent. If you do it soon enough, you might even have time to go back and retool your product. Reshoots are done all the time in Hollywood. Why couldn’t a company go back to the drawing board and change button layouts or color schemes? Software is affected the same way. A few screenshots of how a program will work is sufficient to get forums and chat rooms talking. In an age of instant accessibility, one picture or bit of information could spread the entire globe faster than your wildest fires. Many companies will willingly let information trickle out to fans just to see which way the wind is blowing. It’s not just someone with a hidden camera anymore. Many of today’s tidbits are high resolution pictures and videos coming directly from a studio or firm.
Conversely, an unsuccessful leak does not a failure make. It’s the old adage of “No such thing as negative press.” You are advertising a product (for free) whenever you bring it up in the break room or at the barber shop. Just because you don’t care for the color of a phone, doesn’t mean the guy sitting across from you won’t.
Let’s move on to the negative aspect now. A leak can be devastating enough to a company to bring it to its knees. There is always the risk of putting too much pressure on your product and failing to deliver. Does anyone remember the 1998 Godzilla movie? Granted, it was not a great movie. The problem was, there was too much hype around it and it was doomed to fail. A few advance screenings and the fanboys were posting talkbacks on forums about how terrible it was. The movie was D.O.A. upon landing at the cineplex. Fast forward five years. The Incredible Hulk comes out and roundly dissapoints. This time, instead of going to the chat rooms, people are taking out a cell phone and calling friends in the parking lot causing a more immediate impact. And here we are today. Instead of calling after a movie lets out, people can take out a cell phone and text their friends about how awful a movie is without making a sound. Hardware and software is not impervious to the same effect. All it takes is one person with a loud enough voice to get a negative vibe around something. Tech sites and blogs have cult-like followings. In today’s age, comments and feedback from one popular post can have devastating effects within minutes.
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