There hasn't been much to look forward to during Samsung's Unpacked product launch events over the past few years. Rumors and reports aside, actual press renders of unreleased devices start showing up in glorious high resolution weeks before the launch. Consequently, the element of surprise is taken away and you kind of feel like meh when watching the event.
We're big fans of Samsung here at SamMobile. No surprises there. We provide extensive coverage for its devices, firmware updates, new features and often share exclusive information for upcoming products with our readers. Those who have been with us for long will have noticed that we no longer leak renders of Samsung's new mobile devices ourselves.
That's not because we don't know how to get them or know why they're mostly leaked through Twitter. We made a conscious decision to no longer leak press renders because it feels like scoring a cheap win. It's just a matter of being quicker than everybody else which is why you see these renders first cropping up on Twitter and not on sites like ours. It only takes a few seconds to tweet out images, after all.
The age of “blurrycam” leaks is over. Those were the real leaks, originating from R&D labs and production lines. They created a sense of excitement about the device and you could never be absolutely certain about what you saw, as opposed to official press renders that lay everything bare. Here's the device, take a good look at it, on to the next one. As I said, it's a cheap win.
How we feel about leaking press renders
We are of the view that these press render leaks weeks and often even months before the actual launch just kill the excitement. There are many fans who would prefer that the element of surprise not be taken away before the event. That's something we're also mindful of when deciding what to and what not to leak, so we focus more on finding out information about new products and detail that in an exclusive article. It helps keep fans interested without ruining the surprise.
Even when we do decide to leak actual images of a new device, we stick to low-resolution pictures. That's another conscious decision, something you may have noticed with our recent leaks of live Galaxy Tab S6 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 pictures, posted weeks before the usual barrage of press renders surfaced. We decided not to leak any actual images of the Galaxy Note 10 since not only would that have been riskier for all of the people involved but also because we know many of our readers wouldn't like that as well.
As Samsung fans, it is disappointing for us to see the company lose the element of surprise for products that it works so hard on. Even before it has had a chance to talk about the product, renders are circulated and people form their opinions based on them without ever having seen the device in person or having first heard what Samsung has to say about it. Who is to blame here, though? Does it lie with Samsung or with those that deploy certain tricks to get these renders?
Samsung could put a stop to this if it wanted
As I mentioned in the very beginning, Samsung only has itself to blame. It sends these renders and other associated marketing material to partners across the globe weeks before the official launch. Once they're out, they're out. The company can't do anything to control when they leak and it usually happens within days, if not hours. Yet, the company has shown us that it can keep a lid on things when it really matters.
Ever wonder why no Galaxy Fold renders were leaked before it was unveiled earlier this year? Samsung didn't do what it normally does with renders for the Galaxy Fold. There was an unprecedented level of secrecy with that device as Samsung wanted to be the one to set the narrative. We'd prefer that the company gave the same treatment to its other devices as well, at least the flagships.
One can understand that there is a business compulsion for Samsung to provide its partners across the globe with marketing materials. They're the ones supposed to help it sell its devices after all. Does it have to do that such a long time before the event, even though it knows that they will immediately leak online? We're aware that Samsung isn't too happy about how these renders find their way online, but then again, it's the one that's making it so easy for leakers to get them in the first place. Samsung could put a stop to it if it wanted and yet it doesn't change a thing.
Keep these product renders secret, we say, and if the compulsion to share them with partners can't be managed, then perhaps just send them the day of the Unpacked event. Samsung could learn a thing or two from car manufacturers. You see spy shots of new cars all the time yet you never get to see the renders before the cars are actually unveiled (okay, so cars aren't sold across as many third-party retailers as smartphones, but you get the gist).
We'd love to know how you feel about these leaked renders, and if you feel that leakers do fans a disservice in their race to just be the first to leak them. Let's get a conversation started in the comments section.