That OTHER Tech Leak From Canada

iMac G4 Leak

At the risk of dating myself, I’m hoping that this image will make the folks at WIND feel a little bit better. It’s not every day that a gadget sought around the world leaks through a Canadian channel, but as I will explain shortly it’s not the first time that it’s happened, either.

Of course I’m talking about the Nexus 5… Its specs were laid bare in a post on WIND’s Facebook page, where customers were invited to pre-register for the device. It’s far from the first leak about what is possibly Google’s worst-kept secret of 2013 — remember that an entire list of Nexus 5 components was linked to in a news round-up a few days back. WIND’s gaffe, however, was the first official confirmation of the rumoured spec sheet.

Needless to say, the world’s tech press picked up the story and ran with it. A few examples:

But I’m not here to rub WIND’s face in their mistake, I’m here to make them feel better. So let’s turn back the clock some eleven years to 2002, when TIME Canada unwittingly upstaged none other than Apple’s Steve Jobs.

These were the glory days of the MacWorld Expo, and in particular the Stevenotes that kicked off each event. Never mind the iPhone — the first-generation iPod was still in its first year on the market. Nonetheless, this was the time when MacWorld attendees perked up their ears when they heard those three magic words:  “One more thing…”

Shortly after midnight on January 7th, 2002, TIME Canada did the unthinkable, putting the iMac G4 “Sunflower” on newsstands and its web site more than 12 hours before the official release. If you know anything about Jobs and secrecy then you’ll appreciate what a huge deal this was. I wrote about it on my own blog of the day — scroll way down to the bottom of this page to see for yourself — and I was convinced that Canada itself would be punished in some way for the leak.

Of course that didn’t happen, and the MacWorld audience faked surprise and delight as best they could when the iMac made its official début later that morning.

Likewise for WIND, all will be forgiven and forgot once Google finally decides to list the Nexus 5 on its Play Store for reals… So don’t beat yourself up too much about it, okay?