According to Psychologists, when you are giving presents to someone, it is better to tell them early and keep them wondering what the present will be. This will increase the value of the present when they get it.
Popular cellphone manufacturers like samsung, google and oneplus have a proven record of leaking their upcoming phones either via twitter or their official websites. They do it by releasing short teaser clips and give clues of what to expect during launch so that somehow they could prepare their customers beforehand. On the other hand, Apple has been very secretive about their upcoming products but they still get leaked by either factory employees or by developers who have access to source codes.
There are plenty of cases, based on the nature of the leaks that are real. Insiders get early access to design schematics and CAD renders of the phones before they are sent to mass production and hence gets leaked on popular social media sites like twitter, weibo and reddit. Some leaks went so far that we got to see the live unboxing video, like Google’s Pixel 3, back in 2018. Samsung “accidentally” leaked their phone via their official website when the new Galaxy S20 series was on the horizon. Not clear whether they made such a puny mistake for not considering the review of their own website before putting stuffs out there in the world wide web or deliberately showed what they were working on, we can only speculate that they did so in order to get some feedbacks from tech enthusiasts since they generally do not reveal the sole purpose of leaks surfacing on the internet.
Although every possible security measures are kept intact during production, its impossible to keep tabs on every individual workers involved during manufacturing since there are thousands of them. Leaks spread from word-of-mouth from the factory workers, who are sometimes offered more than what they are paid, and end up in CAD renders.
Another reason is that big companies like Apple are required to share their confidential information with manufacturers or suppliers and other third party vendors who manufacture spare parts for their phones. Although every possible security measures are kept intact during production, its impossible to keep tabs on every individual workers involved during manufacturing since there are thousands of them. Leaks spread from word-of-mouth from the factory workers, who are sometimes offered more than what they are paid, and end up in CAD renders just like when policemen try to catch a criminal with the help of sketches described by the eye witnesses. Factories usually assign workers to do one minute part of the process, not build the entire thing. The workers say some things that they observed while putting the phone together and this information gets passed on through the media which end up eventually onto the news.
Maybe the philosophy behind such leaks is “the more discussions there are before the unveiling, the more interested people will become in the finally unveiled product.” Leaks create buzz in the market which makes customers curious and excited. This increases the chance of better sales figure increment which complies with the motive of such companies to build a hype around the upcoming product. In short, it is a marketing strategy to increase the sales quantity. Only few companies come under the exceptions.
So whats the purpose then? Well, simply put, smartphone leaks are not always intentional. Manufacturers try their best to keep it a secret but it’s impossible to keep such secrets with so many people involved during production. Those who do on purpose, its for the marketing purpose.