[This article is translated from ALT1040, originally written by Felix Palazuelos]
Many of the leaks posted about new smartphones on tech blogs across the world began with a simple tweet on @evleaks’ Twitter. His leaks were often treated as facts, with the pictures and snippets being as real as day and night. Facts, not possibilities, was the @evleaks magic. A magic with a lot of work and effort behind it.
Who is @evleaks?
After @evleaks’ retirement, we learned more details about the life of the man who was the topdog of this leak account of the smartphone world over the last few years. His name is Evan Blass. He lives on Philadelphia, and was an important editor for several top tech sites before taking on anonymity and becoming responsible for one of the most prolific leaker accounts in the history of smartphones.
His career began at Engadget, where he worked from 2005-2008 as a Senior editor, training Joshua Topolsky and Nilay Patel, just to name a couple. Evan continued his career at Pocketnow, where he made a name for himself leaking many HTC phones. After his departure from PocketNow, he created his @evleaks account. This amazing story stars here.
The @evleaks legend starts
He started his leak adventure with a few Twitter followers . He was considered a star in the tech industry, and since the beginning, the bigwigs of the industry were following his information due to the veracity of his leaks.
In recent months, his popularity rose to the point where it is today, to nearly 200,000 Twitter followers; not counting, of course, the eyes of the big names in the technological industry. They know that his leaks start in their own factories. He even gained respect in China, where he was know as “the great god @evleaks”.
He retired at the top of his game, leaking one of the most anticipated smartphones this year: the new Moto X+1 with great detail. During his short career, he was the main player before many launches: leaking the HTC One, the Nexus 5, the LG G3 and many more…
He was the most prestigious and reliable leaker on the Internet. Why did he retire? The story of the man behind the @evleaks account, started with the following tweet:
The biggest leaker in the recent tech history said goodbye. @evleaks changed his profile picture and user name: he is now Evan Blass, tech editor. Despite its success and popularity, leaking content on a Twitter account is not a profitable activity and, after failing to monetize his efforts, Evan decided to leave the job that made him so famous due to financial and health problems.
Evan Blass has multiple sclerosis
Thanks to his own tweets, and the BBC interview, we know the real reason for his departure: Evan Blass has multiple sclerosis for more than a 15 years, which prevented him from continuing his editorial career, because his disease is too unpredictable after 16 years.
Moving around is extremely painful for Evan, so his life is mostly spent on the web, where he could be found gathering information and working to leak some smartphones for more than 20 hours a day, thanks to his tech industry sources.
Leaking seems to be a five-minute job, but that thought is far from the reality. Evan has to bet not only on himself but also on his sources — he has to believe in them in order to publish the leak on the web. Despite what we may think, Evan recognizes that not all companies feel damaged by his leaks. Several have come to deliberately give him information as a marketing strategy. The rationale behind it is if all the tech site writes about a leak, the hype around the new device will be greater.
That’s not all. We had the pleasure to learn that the both new iPhone models of 4.7 and 5.5 inches are true like the leaks have revealed. The factory workers are usually responsible for iPhone leaks due to their low wages and the big rewards associated with such leaks.
Last, but not least, our protagonist Evan, has insomnia. Evan says the disease keeps him productive:
“When you have a disease that starts getting worse and doesn’t seem to be getting better, you feel that you are dying — and when you feel like you are dying you are willing to do certain things like taking a job with no real future. I sleep better since retiring from leaking.”
The @evleaks problem was the inability to monetize on Evan’s work and efforts. This and his disease caused him to make a tough decision in retiring from his leaker job. The community decided to help Evan with a crowdfunded campaign on Indiegogo.
The interview (with the BBC) finish with Evan ensuring he doesn’t mind having his real name associated with @evleaks. It will be his legacy. We don’t know Evan’s destiny, but we hope it is with the tech industry that he loves. See you soon, Evan.