RIM knows who Boy Genius is

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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.

  • Thought
    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.
  • To penk
    I think its stupid if you say public opinion will be against RIM if they take action against boy genius. Many people have access to important secrets and they don't publish it even if they can. A lot of people have put their hard work in these products and companies spend huge amounts of money developing these products and to have it published even before launch like this is absolutely unfortunate. I hope RIM takes action against Boy Genius.
  • penk
    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
  • To jibi
    Ok so BG doesn't work for RIM, my guess is that he must work for the FCC or one of the big carriers. My guess is the FCC because wireless devices need to be approved first.

    I'm sure RIM has some legal grounds to get BG in trouble for leaking trade secrets, pretty serious consequences actually. Which then brings us to the question of why BG is doing all of this leaking, if not for the 'fame' then what? Pretty big balls if you ask me ...
  • jibi@bbf
    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.
  • Robb (RIMarkable)
    If RIM really does know who the the Boy Genius is, and they are controlling what he actually leaks, they shouldln't tell the whole world that they are actually the puppet master pulling the strings.

    Once the word gets out that Boy Genius leaks are actually all part of of the master marketing plan, he looses a bit (not a lot, but a bit) of credibility.
  • George
    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.
  • Albert
    I thought many of the same points in this article. There's really no way that if RIM wanted to clamp down on BG that they wouldn't. Instead they've used it as a way to completely infiltrate geekdom and the prosumer
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