Brighthand Bytes

Sep 8 2010   3:15PM GMT

The Problem with Unconfirmed Reports



Posted by: Ed Hardy
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For many years, one of the mainstays of Brighthand has been reporting on leaks, rumors, and other pieces of unconfirmed information. Most of the time, I sincerely believe that this coverage is very valuable to our readers, but there are occasional exceptions.

As Site Editor, it’s critical for me to give you good advice on your smartphone purchases. This includes reviews of current models, but also warnings of devices that are coming down the pike. Just as an example, if any Brighthand readers had bought an iPhone 3GS in May without realizing that the iPhone 4 was coming in about a month, I would have failed them.

But covering products that haven’t been announced yet isn’t always an easy task. A surprising number of early reports are on the mark, but not all of them.

The best example of can think of in some time is the description of the HTC HD3 that appeared earlier this week on Brighthand and a great many other websites. As it turns out, these specifications and the associated image are a total fabrication.

They were created as someone’s wish list, but somehow made the jump from speculation to alleged leak. This is unfortunate, but not unheard of.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
Now that we know that the widely-reported description of the HTC HD3 is not real, what do we do?

One option is classify all the previous reports on this model as fakes. But I think this is too extreme. It’s not unheard of for real leaks to get mixed up with false information.

It’s quite possible that HTC is working on a successor for the very popular HTC HD2. If it is, it’s virtually certain his model will run Microsoft Windows Phone 7.

A report that came out today saying that this model is headed for T-Mobile USA in November is reasonable. This carrier has been successfully selling the HTC HD2 for many months.

But we’re clearly going to have to wait a bit for confirmation of this.

Looking Ahead
Most false reports aren’t this spectacular. Generally they are predictions that a particular model is going to be released on a certain day.

In most cases, I strongly suspect that these turn out to be incorrect because the launch day for that product got moved back. Smartphones are very complex devices, and if significant bugs crop up in a model at the last minute, wireless carriers are wise to push the release back until everything is running smoothly.

So please don’t dismiss all unconfirmed reports as bogus, just use a grain of salt when reading them. I know I do. And I always do my best to make it clear when an article is based on leaked information.

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