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The story behind the OnePlus 9 prototype on eBay

OnePlus 9 Pro CAD Render
Image: OnLeaks / Voice
(Post image: © 2020 OnLeaks / Voice)

Anyone who actively reads our blog will have noticedthat the OnePlus 9 through the blog PhoneArena leaked became. They got the pictures and information from a source that originally wanted to remain anonymous - or not. The story behind it.

Smartphone leaks occur in several places. Either directly in the company, outside the company or at the last point, the dealers. Dealers can't have the prototype of the OnePlus 9 yet because it's a little early. Since the screenshots in the article linked above were in English, I tended to go for option 2. So there were pictures of a prototype that were made outside the company. This is not unusual, as manufacturers such as OnePlus send devices to employees all over the world to test the smartphones with the cellular networks. In addition, devices are sent to cell phone providers or software companies such as Google to adapt their software to devices. In fact, my theory was confirmed, as a little research turned out.

After the PhoneArena article, I had closed with this leak. Such leaks happen all the time and the companies try to identify the "traitor" after such articles. More or less successful. But last night I saw a tweet from an editor of XDA-Developers in my timeline, which one Ebay entry linked. The ad showed exactly the OnePlus 9 prototype that was shown in the PhoneArena pictures. The seller asked for a whopping $ 3.000 for the device. He wrote in the info text that he would test the device to the end and then prepare a review.

OnePlus 9 leak

The prototype of the OnePlus 9 was briefly slated to sell for $ 3000, but it revealed the owner's identity. (Screenshot: TechnikNews)

Greed created karma

From here on, the disaster really picked up speed for the dear seller. He took pictures of the device and forgot to black out a code in the software. Now OnePlus could easily find out who owned the prototype and where exactly it was. I also saw right away that an approximate address was stored on Ebay. So I wrote to this person to ask how he got the prototype and why he wanted to sell it. It turned out that this person acquired the prototype from the environment mentioned above and at first he did not know that the device was not yet on the market. So he offered to sell the "story" to PhoneArena, which PhoneArena refused. So he wanted to make as much profit on the device as possible. According to the journalistic guidelines, it is not allowed to pay "sources", as this violates the objectivity of both sides and this could lead to even more serious consequences for the source (also we at TechnikNews follow this baseline and have not yet paid any of our sources with money for their information).

PhoneArena finally got the story for free and the article had a big impact. The story could have ended well for him here, but he seemed too greedy. He then set himself a trap with the eBay listing, as he had no idea of ​​the prototype's ID number and did not black out it like PhoneArena did. So I pointed this out to the seller and he reacted relatively quickly, but it was already too late. The pictures quickly went around the world and so the original owner of the device and he too are now in massive trouble, as both of them deliberately broke contracts.

And the moral of the story'? Being greedy takes revenge (and rather leave the handling of such information to the people who have a clue about such things)!

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General note on "Column"

This article is an author's column. This does not have to be the opinion of TechnikNews represent and reflect. The article may contain the personal opinion of the respective author - thus, unlike news, this article may not be objective. Nevertheless researched to the best of our knowledge. May contain links to partner sites.

Nils Ahrensmeier

Nils is very interested in mobile devices such as smartphones, wearables and headphones. He has been writing since 2019 TechnikNews - especially news and reviews. In his spare time he plays drums and piano or pursues his hobby, athletics.

Nils has already written 285 articles and made 30 comments.

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