Leaks of Google’s new phone embraced by company


Ethan Hsu

A box of the Pixel 3 smartphone Google released in October 2018. This predecessor to the upcoming Pixel 4 also faced similar information leak issues.

Amidst descriptive leaks of Google’s new flagship smartphone, the company has been unexpectedly providing confidential information months before the official launch.

Advanced features for Google’s Pixel 4 phone were leaked onto the internet, months before the planned official reveal. Google initially planned on announcing the device at the company’s “Made By Google” hardware conference on Oct. 15.

The leaks first appeared in early June on technology sites, such as 9to5Google, when sources obtained initial designs of the phone. They ended up discovering the inclusion of a gesture detection sensor (codenamed Project Soli) and an adaptive display that would balance white light to make images more natural.

Some tried to use the initial leaks in an attempt to hurt Google’s reputation.


“Well, since there seems to be some interest, here you go!” said Google in a June tweet acknowledging the Pixel 4’s existence, in response to these attacks. 

Google’s decision to release information ahead of an official product launch has resulted in positive publicity from sources including CNET. One industry insider applauds Google’s information-sharing strategy as a means to improve the technology community.

“Google’s strategy creates a massive community impact for the better,” said Mitch Tabian, an instructor of Google’s mobile platform, Android. “Look at the countless articles, videos, and Reddit posts that generate excitement.”

The decision to provide information also lends itself well to gaining new customers. As they become more interested in the new features, they are more likely to pay close attention to the new phone and other Google products. One consumer considering Pixel devices sees the choice as obvious, as he can stay more informed about the latest technologies from Google.

“Sharing information is good for the company. The more that is out there the more it will spread,” said August Enthoven, a junior.

Though some are enthusiastic about Google’s efforts to be different, others argue that their behavior is inappropriate. Treating leaks of confidential information more seriously should be a higher priority for the company, according to one technology enthusiast.

“There still is a lot of work Google needs to do,” said a Geoffrey Wang , a sophomore who is interested in technology. “They should not see leaks as a friend, a part of the company.”

We are moving from a company that helps your find answers to a company that helps you get things done”

— Sundar Pichai - CEO Of Google

Despite Google’s willingness to share information in advance to official product releases, their sales continue to lag behind competitors like Apple and Samsung, according to a recent earning report summarized by Recode. Whether the strategy will eventually be successful or not is yet to be seen.

When Enthoven first responded about the situation, he said, “I do not know how they should respond. Responding could lead to consequences.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email