Samsung’s efforts to crush leaks are as weak as its update support in 2011

Opinion
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Last updated: September 24th, 2021 at 17:56 UTC+02:00

Those who have been Samsung users for long enough remember all too well what a mess its update support used to be. Some devices wouldn’t get any updates for months. Others would get one every month. A few wouldn’t be touched for the better part of a year.

There was no rhyme or reason to any of it. Users just had to sit back and wait for Samsung to roll the dice. If they were lucky, their device would get an update. Sometimes, even if their device did, their particular variant wouldn’t. Owners of carrier-locked units in the US know this pain all too well.

It wasn’t really until the last couple of years that Samsung overhauled its software update policy. It provides a clear list of devices that will receive updates monthly, quarterly or bi-annually. Such is the pace now that new updates are sent out even before it’s detailed what’s inside them.

We’ve really been happy with this change. It has been pointed out on SamMobile multiple times that Samsung has now been killing it with updates. The company has addressed one of the biggest pain points of owning its devices. Not only that, it’s blazing a new trail. It’s one of the few Android OEMs to offer three major Android OS upgrades and four years of security upgrades (and it’s got the highest number of devices that qualify for three major upgrades).

Samsung has the capacity to achieve incredible things. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have been one of the biggest companies on the planet. This is why it’s just so mind-boggling to see that the company hasn’t really cracked down on leaks.

Rumors are one thing. You can’t do anything about rumors. It’s easy enough to make educated guesses by just taking history into account. For example, the Galaxy S21 Ultra supports the S Pen. So I can easily make an educated guess that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will too. Lo and behold, we have a rumor.

It’s also a fact that people talk. Someone at a company that supplies a component to Samsung might talk to a newspaper. People at carrier or retail partners that Samsung briefs on new devices might speak to a blogger. Crushing rumors is like playing whack-a-mole.

When detailed media assets start leaking out months before launch, it’s an entirely different matter. Time and again we’ve seen seemingly original renders of Samsung’s products leak online before launch. As the launch approaches, we see videos and high-def assets leak online.

That’s exactly what happened with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Days before the new foldables were due to be unveiled, the detailed leaks had spoiled everything. We have seen this happen over and over again with every new launch, flagship or otherwise.

It’s not that Samsung can’t keep a lid on things when it wants to. The original Galaxy Fold was very well protected. There weren’t any substantial leaks months or even weeks before its launch. Samsung also kept the exclusive Mirror Gold finish for the Galaxy Z Flip under the wraps.

This begs the question of why the company is not doing enough to crush leaks. It invests so much time and resources in planning elaborate Unpacked events to introduce new products that have no element of surprise left.

It’s also disappointing for fans. They have nothing to look forward to at these events. Everything is spoiled by the leaks. The wow factor is severely diminished and the events become a bore.

Apple’s efforts to keep everything locked down are exemplary. Yes, there are rumors and whispers about its devices too. People create concepts and try to make educated guesses. It’s not common, though, for all media assets of its upcoming devices to leak online.

Why isn’t Samsung doing more to crush the leaks? It can’t be that it’s not interested in doing that anymore. Gone are the days when we’d get to see blurry images of new devices from the factory. It has evidently ramped up the security inside production facilities.

Shouldn’t a similar approach be taken for its digital assets? Why are they allowed to be distributed so freely months before the actual launch? The Galaxy S22 launch is still four months away. The fact that the first Galaxy S22 Ultra leaked renders have started ruining the surprise already is justification enough that something needs to be done.

As for when Samsung will do it is anybody’s guess right now. There are obvious gaps through which these assets are leaking online. Nobody’s going to buy that Samsung doesn’t know about them. It even wields the power to plug them. Will it? If you ask me, it should have done that yesterday.

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