Are company ‘leaks’ really unexpected or intentional?

When there is the anticipation for a new announcement regarding a company’s upcoming product, information is often leaked beforehand. With these cases becoming more frequent, it has raised suspicions regarding the validity of the leaks

iPhone 7
Apple are notorious for having their products’ information leaked before release. The iPhone 7’s specs went viral before an official announcement. Photo: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr

Prone to error

During an age when company information is stored on cloud servers rather than locally, data is more prone to invasion. Therefore, this means that those within a firm have easier access to files in their department or even other sectors of the business. 

There are also often leaks in the supply chain of a product. A company can go through all the necessary procedures to avoid a leak but it still has to rely on partner firms, which could ruin it. 

Consumers first found out that there was no headphone jack in the iPhone 7 due to this. Chinese case manufacturer Catcher Technology leaked renders of the iPhone 7 case, causing speculation. Additionally, Apple is notorious for leaks themselves, with many of their product prototypes going viral before official announcements.

Samsung is also suspected of intentional leaks after it prematurely published pre-order details for the Galaxy Note S9 on its website. The site remained the same even after the move was spotted, giving way to theories of intentional leaking.

Aaron Yoo Galaxy S9 Camera
Samsung have been suspected of intentionally leaking information of the Galaxy Note S9 before its release date. Photo: Aaron Yoo via Flickr

High demand

Even if an employee has good intentions, by accessing the data from their computers, they may not be following strict protocol and sensitive information can be leaked by accident. There is an abundance of hackers forcing their way onto servers across the world to retrieve data. With files stored on cloud servers, infiltrators are often are successful in retrieving them.

Leaks often spoil the surprise before companies are ready. However, they often create a bigger buzz that creates more demand for an upcoming release. Earlier this week, we reported on the release of Fortnite: Chapter 2. A key reason why fans of the game were expecting there to be a second chapter is that Fortnite’s account had posted information on the game on the App Store, before pulling it down. As expected, the game was then officially released yesterday.

This may seem like an accidental move but it isn’t so easy to casually upload such sensitive information to the App Store. Nonetheless, this has got players talking about the game ever since. Everyone is talking about what features they can expect to see and when they can expect to play it.

Fortnite at E3 2018
Fornite’s latest chapter was met with anticipation as the shared information prematurely. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin via Flickr

By giving consumers a hint of what the company is working on, it whets their appetite. It also allows people to start providing their theories, making them more eager to prove that they were right. 

Marketing aid

Leaks also provide imagery for influencers to be able to share. A recent image of a leaked PlayStation 5 sketch has been doing the rounds on social media over the last few months. Without this image, there would be no point of focus, making it hard to create an initial buzz for the next generation console.

Leaks can be both damaging and useful for business, depending on a circumstance. Despite some cases where companies may let certain information pass through, businesses will be doing their best to keep their projects under wraps.

Are there any cases where you believe that company leaks have been intentional? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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