It must be so annoying for tech companies all geared up for a big design reveal – the marketing is in place, the venue for the unveiling is decided … and then somehow, a leak enables the world and its mother to get hold of all the design specs.
That's the situation HTC is dealing with this week, after Android Authority apparently took possession of a retail box for the upcoming Desire 12 that shows off its biggest selling points.
The phone has long been rumoured to be in the works, with the device maker having referred to a codename 'Breeze' to hide a project it had been working on behind the scenes.
With the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona imminent, it's likely that HTC was planning on announcing the entry-level smartphone to the world then in order to capitalise on the excitement associated with the global gathering.
However, the as-yet unreleased image of the Desire 12 retail box has led to the cat being let out of the bag a bit sooner. It might not be great for HTC, but it is interesting news for tech enthusiasts eager to hear what's coming up next from the brand.
So, what can we expect from what has seemingly been confirmed as the HTC Desire 12? To start with, there's a 64-bit, quad-core MediaTek chipset that offers 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage.
In addition, there are slots for two nano-SIMs and a microSD card, allowing for extra storage in case users really want to keep hold of a lot of photos and videos.
Speaking of which, the phone offers a 12 MP rear-facing camera that's capable of shooting 1080p video, while the front-facing camera is 5 MP for clear selfies.
Screen-wise, users will benefit from a 5.5-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio display providing 720 x 1,440 (HD+) resolution, Android Authority attests.
In fact, the only things that haven't been shared as part of this leak are pricing, release date and – crucially – pictures of the device itself. Although, if the tech news provider has the box, there's a chance this latter information could surface in the coming days.
It comes in the wake of a previous leak from well-known Twitter tipster Evan Blass, who claimed the HTC Desire 12 would run on Android 8.0 Oreo. However, his details differ from those obtained by Android Authority in that he suggested the cameras would be 13 and 8 MP respectively, while the memory would measure in at 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage.
Who knows – it may be that we have to do the old-fashioned thing and wait until the formal launch to find out which leak was true.
HTC will no doubt be hoping that, leak or not, the release of this new device signals a positive swing in fortunes for the company after what has been viewed by many tech experts as a rough few months.
Last year, president of smartphones Chialin Chang resigned from his position, while the business was also depleted of some of its best design engineers after Google recruited them to work on its Pixel range of handsets.
This perceived shakiness is unusual for HTC, having a historical reputation of releasing some of the most innovative and best phones on the market. Its 2010 incarnation of the Desire was perhaps the iPhone's first real rival, while the brand's 2013 reboot that introduced the One and One M8 – and brought in the ahead-of-its-time video-editing software Zoe – ensured rave reviews from users and critics alike.
It remains to be seen if what comes from HTC going forward is enough to overcome the hard times and renew its status as a leading smartphone brand.