BlackBerry, this is not how you handle a zealous fan base. CEO John Chen published a blog post today in which he promised that the company would pursue legal action against a “party who stole confidential information about a future BlackBerry product and made that information public.” Ugh.
This is tiresome because it represents the company taking an inexplicably tough stance against something which arguably works to its benefit. Leaks are not in fact “distracting, and at their worst downright misleading to our stakeholders,” as Chen claims, but a natural part of the gadget and mobile device ecosystem, and an expression of genuine interest from people who might actually want to purchase your products.
There’s a reason this open letter of admonition and warning is an exceptional case – other device makers know that ultimately, rumors and early reports at worst generate buzz around products, and at best attract some eyeballs that may otherwise not have been tuned to your company to begin with. Chen, in his post, argues that this latest leak crosses the line into “criminality,” hence the need for legal action.