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Leaks cast a shadow over tech product launches

posted 23 Jul 2012, 03:58 by Mpelembe   [ updated 23 Jul 2012, 03:59 ]

Tech companies are finding it harder to keep hotly anticipated product launches under wraps, with the Internet rumour mill constantly in overdrive.

ASIA-TECH LEAKS - Canon's new mirrorless camera. Unveiled at last.

It's like a regular SLR, but it's much smaller because there's no bulky mirror inside.

But this probably isn't a surprise to you if you're a camera fan.

The rumour blogs have been circulating details of this little guy for weeks.

In fact, it's hard to keep anything secret these days.

And it's not just the tech geeks.

Say hello to Angelababy, one of Hong Kong's rising models/actresses/socialites.

She's making a name for herself in Japan.

Panasonic hired her to front its just-released camera.

Or that was the plan. But then they canned the ad and fired her. And they're now suing to claw back more than a million dollars in fees.

That's because Angelababy snapped a pic of the pre-release camera.

Uploading it to her instagram photo stream online while filming a Panasonic TV commercial.

Yikes! Maybe not her smartest move.

That said, lawsuits aren't always the best way to go, according to Tom Crampton.


"The first thing to do when your product is leaked and you're deciding 'Ok, what do we do?' is understand who it is, why they did it, where they've posted it, and try and understand the full situation. Because you don't want to go in with fifty lawyers, slamming some teenager who is literally just excited about your product."

And as Tom says, while it is usually nothing sinister, companies still need to be on the look-out for more serious leaks, including industrial espionage.

Rivals can use the advance information to make sure their own pipeline of new products is more competitive.

Having your big announcement upstaged by a gadget blog can take some of the pop out of your marketing plans. But they're not going to go away anytime soon.

And frankly, as a manufacturer, the feedback you can get from these leaks on these forums can be invaluable both for design and marketing.


"As for me, I was about ready to buy a new camera, but the latest rumours hint at a newer, cheaper version on the horizon. And anyway, who wants to be outside taking pictures, when you could be inside reading about it on a website instead? Jon Gordon in Hong Kong."