Android Headliner: Were HTC’s Leaks Of The One M8 On Purpose?

March 30, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

It’s normal for leaks to happen with new handsets. It happens every year and we’ve seen it from various companies, both Google and Apple included with their stunts about “mistakenly” leaving the phones behind in a bar before they were released. The point is that smartphone leaks in the last few years have become the norm to an extent. We expect them to happen. However most people were probably not expecting HTC to have as many leaks as they did for the One M8, and certainly not to the extent that they appeared. With the sheer number of times this phone was leaked and with the methods of how we came to view the phone before its unveiling and launch officially, it begs the question if the leaks were part of HTC’s planning to out the phone. Were the leaks controlled? Or did HTC just plan to have them leaked and let the so called offenders let loose in their own way?

It would seem less likely of a scenario if the leaks were more mild, but they happened in increasing numbers and soon became a major public spectacle all over the web and social media. This happened once we saw the first video leak of the device, of what we were told in the video was a review phone. It was clear the person recording though was a kid and it seemed that he had just gotten a hold of the phone from his parents, one of or both of which worked for HTC. We were all quick to assume the severity of this kids offenses against the Taiwanese manufacturer, with the breach of contract on the confidentiality agreement that no doubt has to be signed when you would be given an item like an unreleased phone. It was believable, up until the point that we started to see more and more leaks pile up, then it began to look something like HTC had perhaps planned all along. If you think about it, leaks are free advertising for the company. HTC hasn’t put much efforts into their advertising the last few years, so letting out a large number of leaks could have been a precursor to the phone’s actual announcement, with official commercials and ads to follow.

It isn’t that far fetched to think that HTC could have set it up, to where they allowed individuals to leak the device with certain parameters for weeks and weeks leading up to the launch. The types of leaks we’re used to seeing are bits of images. A case showing the shape of the phone, and placement of buttons and cameras. A shipment invoice showing stock numbers of phones being received at carriers, specs, or one specific part of the phone, but not necessarily the whole thing. However this is only how the leaks began. We saw the types of leaks we’re used to, but then we began to see full blown images of the front and back, some of which after seeing the phone in its entirety, we now know the leaks were actually of the device. Enter the first video which was 12 minutes in length going over intricate details about the device, than fast forward weeks later and we had at least two more leaks of the phone before it’s official unveiling, both of which were the day and evening before.

The first of those two was a video that was about 14 minutes in length, and went over extremely in depth detail on the duo camera, and the refocus effect. We saw the phone once again from just about every angle, but in much higher quality than before. The video was also completely in German, so while many of us may not have understood it, you were able to grasp the general idea of what he was talking about. The last leak video we saw was the evening before HTC’s announcement, coming from a well known review website, that compared the old HTC One M7 from last year against the new HTC One M8. It all just seems like a little too much to be an accident. While we may never know if HTC had planned the whole thing or not, it wouldn’t have been a bad plan if they had, especially with the last video leak being a sort of official comparison video. What do you all think? Was this all just an elaborate plan from HTC to get the most attention they could before the official launch of the phone? Or were they all leaked without HTC’s consent?