Should manufacturers do more to keep new phones under wraps?

Taylor Martin
 from  Concord, NC
| June 14, 2012

Rumors and leaks are one of the larger driving forces in this industry. Hundreds of phones are released each year and the prying eyes of the tech journos are searching the far corners of the Internet for any information they can get their hands – or eyes – on. And leaky information on the high-profile devices do a great job of keeping Alex very busy on most days.

As a quick peek at our Rumors and Leaks page will show you, some cell phone manufacturers, such as HTC or Motorola, have a hard time keeping tabs on internal information. Pre-production devices get pictured, digital renderings slip security, software leaks and, in some cases, every edge of the device has been explored before the company ever makes it official.

A great example of that is the HTC ThunderBolt. We weren't positive what the device would be called once official, but we knew exactly what it would look like, thanks to what we believed to be a controlled leak. And about 90 percent of the rumored specs matched with the official specifications. The current mystery devices that are frequenting headlines are Motorola's Dinara, or the Atrix 3, and the DROID RAZR MAXX HD.  

That said, not every company is a leaky faucet. Some are better at keeping deets on their upcoming devices scarce. Apple, for instance, threw everyone off their trail last year leading up to the iPhone 4S announcement. We just knew there would be a new iPhone, believed to be the iPhone 5, with a totally new design, larger display and a multitude of other outlandish specifications.

In light of one of this year's most highly-anticipated devices, Samsung explains that keeping the wraps on the Galaxy S III was harder than it may have seemed. In a blog post earlier this morning, Samsung explained how they ramped up security for the Galaxy S III:

"There was a separate lab with security cards, fingerprint readers and everything, designated only for the few that were approved for this top-secret project. Prototypes were put in security boxes to be moved, even just across the hallway, to prevent passers-by from catching a glimpse.

Deliveries of prototypes to partners and suppliers abroad weren’t outsourced to 3rd party logistics services as is usual practice, but were done in person. People in charge had to do a multi-country tour just to deliver prototypes, and testing procedures were monitored day and night to make sure no leaks in security occurred."

Not only that, but Samsung created three separate prototypes and put the devices in dummy boxes to disguise the final design. It's safe to say that Samsung went beyond the extra mile just to keep this device a secret. But was it even worth all the trouble? Employees claimed feeling like they were living a "double-life", not being able to tell even their families or friends what they were working on.

To me, it seems as if this was a lot of unnecessary, extra work … and for what? What if Samsung hadn't taken the extra steps and the Galaxy S III had leaked? Would it have changed how the device was perceived by the mass populace? The media? Does any of it actually matter?

I can see how a surprising reveal by the company seems much more rewarding in the end. But it's no more exciting on our end if we don't have any official information beforehand. It's no less exciting either. And, in the case of the Galaxy S III, we had most of the specifications figured out prior to the official announcement anyway. We had caught a few glimpses of a few Galaxy S IIIs in dummy boxes. The only surprise was the final design, and that, in my opinion, is nothing to get excited over.

What Samsung's efforts amount to was an attempt at pulling an Apple-like reveal. It was certainly a great effort, no doubt. But I don't feel all the secrecy had any real affect on the outcome of the device. There was tons of hype surrounding its announcement. Who's to say there wouldn't have been just as much – if not more – had there been a few leaks?  

What say you, pups? Leaks or no leaks? Was Samsung's top secret work on the Galaxy S III over the top? Or should every company do more to keep their devices under wraps until their official announcement?