The most highly anticipated tech event of the year is just a few days away. Apple will unveil the iPhone 13 line on September 14th, and that’s no longer just a rumor. Apple confirmed the virtual press conference earlier this week. And in doing so, it practically told fans the iPhone 13 would launch by late September, just as rumors said. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to see Google release a brand new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro ad right now. Google is reminding handset buyers that it’s been working on something special of its own before they decide they want to preorder the iPhone 13. And the Pixel 6 is probably the only Google phone in recent years worth getting excited about.
The Pixel 6 commercial shows the phone’s full design and Google’s first-gen Tensor chip. Then there’s a social media Pixel 6 post to go along with it. But the Pixel 6 promo primarily focuses on the phone’s Material You design coming with Android 12. By showing all these new Pixel 6 marketing images, Google might have inadvertently confirmed an important Pixel 6 launch date.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro release date – it’s complicated
Google isn’t respecting a regular smartphone launch schedule with the Pixel 6 series. Rather than unveiling everything during the expected fall event, Google has taken a page from the OnePlus launch events. The Chinese smartphone vendor confirms a new phone’s main features before the launch event. Sometimes it addresses controversial decisions in those early interviews. Google did something similar with the Pixel 6 this year. In what follows, we’ll use various terms to refer to different important Pixel 6 dates.
The launch date is the day when Google unveils the phone. We had a soft launch on Monday, August 2nd. That’s when Google confirmed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro design rumors and unveiled the Tensor processor. Google also revealed some of the specs and teased that the handsets will be expensive. But Google didn’t reveal other dates.
We expect Google to hold a Made by Google hardware launch event in early October. A crazy rumor said the Pixel 6 launch event would take place on Monday, September 13th, a day before the big iPhone 13 keynote.
The preorder date is the day when the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro go on sale online. A rumor from a well-known insider claimed that day is Tuesday, October 19th. With most phones, the preorder date follows the launch date closely. Sometimes phones go on preorder on the launch date. So October 19th could be the Pixel’s launch date as well — if that rumor is accurate.
Finally, we have the release date. That’s the day when the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will ship to buyers and start selling in stores. The same source that gave us that Pixel 6 preorder date claims the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro release date is Thursday, October 28th.
The new Pixel 6 ad
Your head might be spinning by now with all those dates and days of the week, but they’re essential. That’s because Google mentioned many of the dates above in its early Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro ad above.
Google’s ad says the Pixel 6 series launches this fall without providing an actual release date for the two phones. But the video ad and Instagram photo show various dates in those quirky Android 12 Material You widgets.
Like I said before, Material You is a central theme in the ad. That’s the Android 12 feature that lets you customize the phone’s theme without actually installing a theme app. It’s a pretty nifty trick, one that many Android enthusiasts will appreciate.
To emphasize Material You and the Tensor chip, Google asks a couple of borderline-creepy questions — “What if smartphones weren’t just smart?” and “What if your phone saw you for who you are?” The latter is a bit too much, considering all the information phones feed Google about you. But Google is focusing more on Material You customizations in the ad. And here are the dates that appear in the new video and teaser image.
The calendar on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones in the ad gives us “Mon 02” and “Mon 13” dates. Both of them appear twice in the ad. But then the Instagram post below has “Tue 19” appearing three times inside the clock widget.
Understanding the dates
August is the only month with a Monday 2nd in it this year — that’s when Google unveiled the Pixel 6.
September is the month that has a Monday 13th in it — Google can’t possibly troll Apple even harder next week, can it?
January and October are the 2021 months with a Tuesday 19th in them — October is usually the month for Pixel launch, preorder, and release dates.
We might be reading too much into these Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro ads. And Google knows it has the attention of everyone. So it might simply be trolling everyone with dates that appeared in recent Pixel rumors. If anything, Google’s unusual Pixel 6 launch schedule seems to be a dance around leaks and rumors.
But maybe there’s some logic for these ads. Maybe that October 19th date is meaningful for the new Pixel series. We have no idea, however, whether it’s the launch, preorder, or release date for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.