Leakgate: Tipster excoriates Vivo for "ghosting" him on a Vivo X50 "controlled leak": are companies in on smartphone leaks and tipoffs?
Tipster @evleaks claimed in a Tweet that Vivo India "ghosted" him after offering to coordinate a "controlled leak" about the Vivo X50 smartphone series prior to launch. The claim raises serious questions about smartphone leaks in general: are supposedly "exclusive" tidbits of information really nothing more than part of a marketing and PR strategy?
Certainly, not all leaks are vendor-approved. Some of the Comet Lake S benchmark and performance leaks that showed up before Intel released its Core i9-10900K and Core i7-10700K didn't exactly paint these processors in a good light. It's difficult to see how leaked Comet Lake i5-10700 and i5-10600K performance was a deliberate marketing strategy.
However, when it comes to smartphones, especially those touting new features like the Vivo X50 Pro's ISOCELL GN1 camera sensor, @evleaks' revelation indicates that some companies might deliberately "leak" information to tipsters ahead of official release dates to build interest for their products.
This is problematic because leaks are, by definition, unconfirmed sources of information. For every accurate leak out there, it's possible to spot a fake. And because consumers aren't a part of the process, there's no guarantee that companies involved in "controlled leaks" aren't leaking out inaccurate or misleading information about their upcoming products. This has the potential to erode consumer trust.
We can only hope that smartphone manufacturers continue to engage with consumers on a regular basis through official channels to keep them appraised about real developments.