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Google just found the strangest way to announce a new phone

Google Pixel 5a

In recent years, Google has found increasingly abstract ways to confirm the existence of its upcoming phones. For example, last summer, the company accidentally published an image of the Pixel 4a on its own internet store weeks before an official announcement. This latest reveal might be the strangest yet, though, as Google decided to publicly deny rumors that the unannounced Pixel 5a has been canceled, in turn announcing the phone.

This odd saga began when Front Page Tech host Jon Prosser stated in a tweet that the Pixel 5a had been canceled. His sources told him that the ongoing chip shortage which is affecting virtually every major player in the industry was the culprit behind the cancellation and that production of the phone would not be going forward. His report was later corroborated by Android Central, which heard from two sources of its own that the budget phone had been canned. But as the news began to spread, Google decided to step in and squash the rumors.

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Not long after Prosser’s original tweet, Google sent the following statement to 9to5Google:

Pixel 5a 5G is not canceled. It will be available later this year in the US and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.

Android Central amended its report, explaining that while it regrets the error regarding the phone’s cancellation, it “stands by its original reporting that the Pixel 5a 5G is canceled in the majority of the countries in which it was originally intended to be released.” After all, the Pixel 4a 5G was released in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. Paring that down to just two countries is a significant move.

Previous rumors have suggested that the Pixel 5a will look virtually identical to the Pixel 4a, with a 6.2-inch OLED display, thin bezels surrounding the top and sides of the phone with a larger chin, dual-lens rear camera, hole-punch selfie camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, rear fingerprint sensors, and stereo speakers.

Google says that the Pixel 5a will be announced “in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced,” which means we probably shouldn’t expect any more official news about the phone until August. As such, it stands to reason that the Pixel 6 will follow the same schedule as the Pixel 5, which came out last October.

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Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.