“Sh*t, a new shiny thing is coming!” we’d think to ourselves, eyes-bulging, mouth agape, looking and looking and looking at the one blurry image of what could be the next big thing in tech.
But this jaded feeling has been brewing up inside of me for quite some time. I’ve been chasing tech and gadget rumors for almost six years now and the fire’s starting to die out just a little.
We tech journalists and consumers alike are all too informed to be impressed by anything anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still fun and I love my job, but online leaks have killed any element of surprise when the gadgets do get their official unveils.
It’s one thing to see a sh*tty low-res photo posted to somebody’s Weibo account (China’s most popular social network) and the entire world comes together to try to confirm its authenticity and then not see another leak for months. But it’s another when you read about rumored devices every day.
The iPhone is obviously the biggest victim of leaks. Before Apple has even publicly announced a date to unveil the iPhone 7, we already know pretty much everything there is to know about it.You just need to know where to look and whose reports to trust.
From what the rumors suggest, the iPhone 7will most likely look very similar to the iPhone 6S, come in two sizes, have better cameras, have a faster processor, run iOS 10, lose the headphone jack and have fewer antenna lines on the back. The larger 5.5-inch model will probably come with two cameras and maybe a new smart connector on the backside.
Basically, Apple may switch to a tick-tock-tock release cycle instead of the usual tick-tock cycle, meaning a new redesign won’t come every two years, but every three years.
When Apple CEO Tim Cook gets on stage this fall and talks about all the great things people are doing with their iPhones and then hands it off to senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller to tell us all about the innovations of the iPhone 7, I’ll be tweeting and snickering about how they should tell us something we didn’t already know.
The iPhone 7 will be the best iPhone Apple’s ever made and it will be boring AF.
I’ll wish I was feeling like:
But I’ll be more like:
My heart won’t be racing and my toes won’t be all sweaty eating up every new feature Apple will give some silly name for. I’ll nod while telling myself, “Yep, yep, yep.”
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman (formerly of9to5Mac), recent college graduate and Apple reporter, will no doubt celebrate with champagne on yet another accurate revealing of Apple’s plans. (For those who don’t know Gurman, his reports on Apple’s unannounced products are legendary with his sources spilling the beans on pretty much everything in great detail.)
There will be no “reality distortion field” to get sucked into, and that’s a pity because without surprise, that sense of genuine excitement for the unknown and uncertain doesn’t get a chance to thrive. The wonder and awe that used to fill us is now just a void.
Not just Apple
A lot of full device leaks typically come from a handful of ace leakers. (I won’t single any out specifically, but you can probably guess who they are if you follow Mashable’scoverage on leaked devices).
It’s easy to blame these people for completely ruining the stage announcements companies throw together, but who should we really blame? I’ll tell you: the moles who provide leakers with the images and info. These are people within the company, those who work at the factories or parts of the supply chain, and in some cases, a disgruntled employee who has a bone to pick with the Apple.
While I’ve highlighted the company as the biggest victim of leaks, every major tech company is also vulnerable. Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, HTC, Amazon all of these companies and more have experienced major leaks that have foiled their epic announcements.
Avoid ’em or deal with ’em
It really sucks for all of the people who worked on a top secret gadget to see their hard work aired out on the Internet through low-res pics ahead of time, but there’s just nothing that can be done about it.
As boring as the iPhone 7 may be, the iPhone 8 and its rumored all-glass design sounds awesome.
When you have so many people all working on various levels to get the product produced (design, marketing, sales, engineering, manufacturing, etc.), it’s nearly impossible to keep anything a secret.
Leaks take a lot of the punch out of a new product announcement, but that eventually fades as the world moves on to the next new thing. I mean, as boring-sounding as the iPhone 7 is, the iPhone 8 and its rumored all-glass design and Touch ID sensor integrated into the display already sounds superawesome.
I’m still going to buy an iPhone 7 because my heavily damaged iPhone 6 is on its last legs, but damn it if I don’t miss the good ol’ days when we had absolutely no idea what a new gadget looked like at all.
Leaks are unavoidable if you want to be on the pulse of the gadget world. It’s like spoilers for a movie you can either avoid them and hope you’ll be surprised or read them and lower your expectations.
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