In a now-deleted tweet from Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer, an image was shared that likely came directly from a Pixel 6 Pro, thanks to some eagle-eyed pixel peeping frome the folks over at XDA and a bit of previous knowledge about Google’s upcoming phone hardware. Though the image has since been deleted, I’m not entirely convinced that this little “slip up” on Lockheimer’s part was actually a mistake. In fact, I think it may be a bit of a hint.
We need to look at a few things, here. First up, Hiroshi Lockheimer doesn’t tend to tweet on a whim. Just browsing his Twitter account, you can easily see that he only posted 7 times in the month of July. This isn’t a Tweet storm sort of guy we’re talking about. Instead, as you scroll his Twitter feed, you get the feeling that most of his posts are on purpose and generally considered before being posted. I have a hard time believing he posted this Pixel 6 Pro screenshot without thinking about it first.
Second, let’s look at some of the heavily hint-laden tweets he’s unleashed in years past. Remember the one about Google Assistant? How about the one where he outlined the feature set of the Pixel Buds? Or what about his early look at the Surface Duo before the embargo was up for all the tech reviewers? I don’t think for a second that these tweets were off the cuff and I think he knew quite well what sort of hype and anticipation they would create. Take a look at them if you don’t remember and consider the time frame earch was posted in.
You see what I’m getting at, here? Mr. Lockheimer has a tendency to stir the pot just a bit leading up to a new piece of hardware. With what I feel is a reasonable attention to detail prior to tweeting and a penchant for sneaking info into seemingly-common messages, it feels highly unlikely that this now-deleted tweet and accompanying screenshot were simply mistakes.
We’ve seen this stuff already, so what’s new?
Now, if all the above are true, what purpose would there have been in the deleted tweet? We’ve seen plenty about Material You and lots of normal people can get Android 12 Beta right now and see it for themselves. Even the cheekiness of sharing this screenshot from the Pixel 6 Pro isn’t that big of a deal. We already know the resolutions of the screens and sizes of the phones, so there’s no reveal there, either.
But did you notice the time on the clock? Up to this point, nearly all shots of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro show a time of 9:30 on them. This could be coincidence, but I always thought in my head that this time was actually the date of Google’s next hardware event. Though this has been done before by other companies and by Google themselves, the 9/30 date just seemed like a good fit all around.
Then this screenshot showed up. While it may be nothing more than a happy accident, I think there could be some hidden intent there, too. On the screenshot, we see the time as set to 9:13. Again, remember that Hiroshi very rarely tweets without some sort of purpose. Could he have simply snagged the screenshot and posted on Twitter before really giving it a thought? Sure. But it is also well within reason to think he was hinting at something with this tweet, too. And if this is a hint, perhaps we’re looking at a September 13th date for the next Google hardware event. Maybe.
Perhaps with the resurgence of COVID-19 in the US, Google has decided to once again forego an in-person event and is transitioning to an online-only affair for the official Pixel 6 launch. If so, they could feel free to move up their time frame a bit and perhaps attempt to steal a bit of thunder from the iPhone 13 launch event that should be happening in a similar time frame. September 13th falls on a Monday, so anything is possible. The new iPhone is rumored to be announced on Tuesday, September 14th, so perhaps Google wants to get in right before that. Perhaps the 9/30 date is still in play. Or, perhaps Google is going to stay in the October time frame as they have in years past. For now, we can’t know for sure, but it is fun to wonder, isn’t it?