And yet the cynic in me says this doesn't matter, that it is in fact a very good thing. Exposure of unscrupulous politicians is slowly leading to a more open process of government, celebrities are learning their fame doesn't make them above the law, the stories of lesser known sports people are investigated and lauded and we can plan our tech purchases on our own time schedule, not via the drip fed marketing hyperbole that has long greeted new products.
High & Dry
When the original iPhone was announced, for example, I had just committed to an 18 month contract for a T-Mobile MDA Vario II (also known as the Orange TyTN II) complete with Windows Mobile. Had the leak culture been so prevalent at the time I might not have been so impressed by Steve Jobs' famous announcement, but I'd have avoided a costly error (as it turned out the Vario II soon went on eBay).
Furthermore it has to be questioned whether companies still desire such strong veils of secrecy. Product cycles are shorter, rivals are continually usurping one another and it may pay dividends for a company such as Apple to remind customers intrigued by a Samsung Galaxy S3 to 'hold tight' with some well timed leaks. Certainly it is a process which keeps the techies talking and provides huge amounts of free publicity in the run up to an official announcement. After all, you have to wonder why so many leaks come from 'accidental' postings on companies' obscure regional Twitter profiles and official websites only to be pulled moments later.
The message says: 'we want you to get excited because this is from an unquestionable source' and it is noticeable that throughout the iPhone 5's leak-tastic arrival Apple hasn't called in the heavies and gone ballistic as it did when the iPhone 4 was lost in a bar in 2010. The process is already starting afresh with the iPad Mini.
This compromise may impact sales and it is notable Apple blamed anticipation of a new iPhone on a rare sales miss in its latest financials. It is a price worth paying though, such widespread public awareness has seen analysts predict the iPhone 5 sales will hit 10 million units in its first week.
So yes there are no secrets anymore, yes companies are often complicit in this and yes the stupid iPhone 5 rumours drive us all crazy, but more than ever letting the cat out of the bag has put us in control. The next few months will be incredibly exciting for the technology industry. Why? Because we already know…