RIM knows who Boy Genius is

BlackBerry Pearl

Yep you heard us right. We have the straight word coming from an inside source (call him Mr. Snap) that RIM knows who is leaking all their high-tech secrets. And they’re ok with it — for now. Step inside and we’ll tell you all about it.

Now, before we go any further we should let you know that it hasn’t been RIM’s plan all along to leak information on their new consumer devices through ‘moles’ like Boy Genius, Roc a Fella, et al. Mr. Snap tells us that he’s sure of this because of the high secrecy surrounding the Pearl’s scroll ball (as opposed to scroll wheel). Up until late July, RIM had not told even their closest partners about the scroll wheel/scroll ball switcheroo, and was still hiding its existence in development software and emulators even after Boy Genius made the leak. Also, Mr. Snap told us that RIM had been planning for some time a big announcement of their new device in September, either at CTIA or that September 6th event we really know nothing about. Intentionally leaking news of the Pearl would have only stolen their own thunder.

However, we can tell you that once RIM got word of the leak, they quickly found out where it was coming from (which honestly shouldn’t have been that hard to figure out for them, seeing as at the time there were very few Pearls out in the wild). Mr. Snap tells us that at least two people from RIM have confirmed that they know who Boy Genius is. This, apparently, was the point where RIM got smart.

Someone in the company supposedly made the argument that they should not smite Boy Genius and the other leakers with a vengeful fury, and instead see how it played out. If this doesn’t sound like a big deal, it is. RIM has been known for firing employees on the spot for taking beta devices with them while going out to Starbucks for a coffee, and have even gone so far as tracking leaked screen shots to the desk that they were taken from and computer they were uploaded to (some James Bond type stuff, I know, but apparently they were able to compare the desk’s wood grain or something…). So the fact that Boy Genius is still doing his thing and even has access to the stuff he’s showing us is testament to the fact that RIM has changed its policy.

Comments [13 Responses]

August 30th, 2006 at 2:54 pm

The only issue is that this could set a precedent to RIM employees that leaking information is cool and could possibly get you famous like Boy Genius. If I was RIM I would leak that Boy Genius was fired, but really keep him on and control the leaks because he has some pretty good contacts with the big blogging sites.

August 30th, 2006 at 5:28 pm

First off, Boy Genius doesn’t work for RIM, nor is he even remotely affiliated with them. He has connections into pretty much ever facet of the mobile industry (as well as other industries) that would make most people VERY envious (trust me, I keep trying to get him to send me his Vertu). Also, as far as fame is concerned, BG doesn’t need any - and trust me, if you think that having his name plastered all over the mobile geek industry is ‘fame’ then you should rewrite your definition for the word and its association to BG.

As far as who Boy Genius really is… let’s just say that he’s something like Batman crossed with the lovechild of Angelina Jolie and Shaggy from Scooby Doo (either the cartoon or Matthew Lillard, as both are equally cool).

It is very smart for RIM to not attack perhaps one of the most resourceful ‘viral marketing’ non-strategies they may have. And sure, this could be somewhat harmful to their current lines (of which it seems the 7130 was a bust and should have been released almost simultaneous with the 8700), although I personally feel that it’s done more good than bad (if the info would have been known and released back in March/April, then I would take the position that it would have been harmful to the 8700 line). The relative dates from leak to launch make absolutely no difference on anything but anticipation and future sales. If they stay on track with a Sept 12 release on T-Mobile and follow up with a pre-Xmas release on Cingular, then this handheld should likely break almost any and all short-term sales records that RIM has.

August 30th, 2006 at 8:59 pm

if RIM did choose to take action against BoyGenius, the court of public opinion would do what it could to voice their dissent and plea to RIM that the penalties be minor*.

as for a change in policy, i wouldn’t expect to see such leniency happen often. like was metioned above, if this much detail and proof were released too far in advance it would have the opposite effect. (please see exhibit Q)

* except bobolito who would hand deliver the subpoena

August 30th, 2006 at 11:21 pm

The best thing that could have happened to RIM was for the Pearl to have been leaked in the manner it was. It has ignited interest in the device, much more than a standard pre-launch announcement.

As for the idea that leaks decrease sales of existing products: that concept doesn’t so much apply with the Pearl as this is RIM’s first true foray into the consumer market. There’s no existing BB consumer device for which this can undermine sales. The market for the Pearl consists largely of people who otherwise wouldn’t buy BB, or in the case of those of us on these websites, people who already own a BB and are looking to upgrade or add another simply because of the features of the Pearl.

BlackBerry Cool » Cingular Pearl listed on-site - updated
September 11th, 2006 at 8:03 am

[...] Another week of the Pearl? Unless RIM announces another trifecta, it might just go that way. No matter, things are still exciting. The release dates for the Pearl on various retailers are slowly popping up, like Cingular listing their 8100c model on their website for a vague “October” release date. The differences are slight, really, I mean - who needs the camera, right? Spec-heads read on, more info after the jump. (BBHub> reports the 8100c disappearing from Cingular’s site. Seems as though everyone’sjumping the gun with details these days) [...]

Montreal Gazette
March 22nd, 2007 at 10:19 am

[...] We usually don’t do gadget reviews here at the Gazette; über gizmo geek Mark Saltzman usually does the honours. But Roger’s unveiling of the BlackBerry 8800 today was pretty interesting and worth a note.  The 8800 is a full-keyboard scion to the Pearl, more targeted at hardcore business users who want the easy typing, and a bit thinner. RIM removed the camera and added a GPS antenna. California-based TeleNav provides the GPS software, which can be integrated with other applications: users can generate a map from the address book and send a map by email. A gentleman from VIA Rail I spoke to was excited about this functionality. An interesting application on display at the launch is mForms, made by Ottawa,’s TrueContext, which puts paper forms into the handset and transmits the data via the network. This could be useful for, say, credit card mongers who want to do away with clipboards and the need to retype the information onto a database.  The 8800 also has a microSD card slot for movies, music and pictures. A 4GB card is available from SanDisk for true media aficcionados.Disappointingly, the 8800 does not work on Rogers’ 3G HSDPA standard, which can offer up to 3.6 mbps download speeds. It only supports EDGE, whose theoretical maximum speed doesn’t surpass 400 kbps.It will be available in Montreal in about a month. On a gossipy note, a RIM regional account manager told me the company does not know who the BlackBerry mole Boy Genius is (despite other rumours) has appointed three IT workers to sniff him out.He said CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsille are none too happy with this kid, but given RIM’s stock has a tendency to surge with leaked photos of unreleased handsets, you have to wonder just how hard they’re trying to stop him. Link to this | E-mail this | Digg this | Post to del.icio.us Published Thursday, March 22, 2007 10:27 AM by Roberto Rocha Filed under: telecom, gadgets [...]

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