Evan Blass: King of the leakers

  • Published
Media caption,

One of the world's top technology leakers explains how he gathers his secrets.

Can you keep a secret? The technology industry sure can't.

As new products are being prepared for launch, there is no shortage of leaked material spoiling the surprise.

Sometimes it comes from a production line in China, or maybe a warehouse worker who opens a box and takes a quick snap.

And sometimes an Apple executive will leave a new device in a bar.


Whatever the source, a good, accurate leaked image of new technology travels the world in moments.

And throughout the years, one man has emerged as the king of leakers. In a world of hoaxes, his leaks are the ones that made technology journalists and enthusiasts take notice.

He is Evan Blass - @evleaks - and he is calling it a day, retiring from the cut-throat leaking game. He's never done an on-camera interview - that is, until the BBC's technology programme Click went to visit him at home in Philadelphia.

For BBC News Online, we asked Evan to share what he felt were the most significant leaks he brought to the public's attention.

Image source, Evleaks

Nokia Lumia 820/920 - August 2012

Evan: "Little known fact: I leaked six to eight devices in July of 2012 before taking my Twitter account offline for nearly the entire month of August.

"When I returned to leaking at the end of August, these Nokia leaks really jump-started my career - putting the feed on the map, so to speak."

Image source, Evleaks

LG G2 - May 2013

"At the time, no-one was sure that this device would eventually become the G2, but due to the epic thinness of the side bezels, suspicions ran high.

"I've never seen a mystery device capture the interest of an audience the way that blue-screened, in-the-wild shot did, several months before launch."

Image source, Evleaks

HTC M8 Prime - May 2014

"As it turns out, the M8 Prime was seemingly killed in utero by HTC, even though it had promised to be HTC's best-ever handset.

"But what really appeals to me in this leak isn't the phone itself, but the quality of the 3D-rendered image.

"I still find myself staring at sometimes, completely hypnotised."

Image source, Evleaks

HTC First - April 2013

"Leaks are always more rewarding when the devices are heavily anticipated.

"Although not many people ended up buying the so-called Facebook phone, the fact that HTC designed it to the social media giant's specification ensured that the HTC First got more than its fair share of coverage and buzz."

Image source, Evleaks

Moto X - July 2013

"What interests me about this story is the fact that, despite its (accurately-) rumoured, non-flagship specs, the Moto X from Motorola saw even greater engagement than its quad-core, full-HD rivals of the same year.

"It takes a pretty special phone to generate that kind of anticipation with less-than-category-besting specifications."

Image source, Evleaks

Sony Xperia Z1s - October 2013

"This 'mini' version of the Xperia Z1 was a somewhat unique case in that its specs were not severely hamstrung like most of the 'mini' takes on flagship handsets.

"Sony discovered that there was actually quite a large niche of people who wanted the same power as full-size devices, but with more single-handed capabilities."

Image source, Evleaks

Asus Padfone 2 - October 2012

"For me, the Padfone 2 itself wasn't as special as the fact that I'd already leaked the original Padfone the previous year when employed at Pocketnow.

"And the next year, I was able to leak the Padfone mini, as well."

Image source, Evleaks

"Before leaking this gamepad, I had no idea that accessories could draw as much or even more interest than many actual phones.

"As this tweet inched past 200 and then 300 retweets, I realised that certain phones are so popular that even their dedicated accessories can cause quite a stir."

Image source, Evleaks

Google Nexus 7 - July 2013

"So naturally the follow-up to a popular Nexus tablet was going to see a lot of engagement.

"At the time, it was my most retweeted tweet ever, and even after a heavily-engaged retirement post, still remains among the most popular of all time."

Image source, Evleaks

Nokia X - December 2013

"No-one could believe that Microsoft-affiliated (and then -owned) Nokia would actually go to market with a Google Android handset.

"But there are some pundits who believe that the threat of the mobile maker fleeing Windows Phone for its arch rival in green was actually the main impetus behind Microsoft pushing so hard for the acquisition of Nokia earlier that year.

"It made for great theatre."