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Pixel 5 might be released before the iPhone 12

Updated Aug 20th, 2020 7:57AM EDT
Pixel 5 Release Date
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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  • The Pixel 5 release date just leaked, with a well-known YouTuber saying the phone will launch on September 30th.
  • The Pixel 5 might beat the iPhone 12 to market by a few good weeks, according to different leaks from the same person.
  • The cheaper iPhone 12 models are expected to launch in mid-October, with the iPhone 12 Pro options set to launch a few weeks later.

Some of the 2020 smartphones you want the most will not stick to the expected schedules this year. Apple already confirmed that the iPhone 12 series would be delayed by a few weeks, marking the first year in iPhone history where none of the new iPhones will be available in stores in late September. A leak that followed said the cheaper iPhone 12 models would ship in mid-October, with the Pro versions to follow in November. A different leak that came directly from Google France indicated that the Pixel 5 could launch on October 8th. We explained at the time that the iPhone 12 delay would hurt the Pixel 5 even more than it’s going to hurt itself. The Pixel 5 will be the least exciting update in the short history of the brand, as the phone will not feature high-end specs that would match similar offerings from other Android vendors.

It turns out that the Pixel 5 might actually launch before the iPhone 12, according to the same leaker who revealed the rumored release window for the new iPhones.

YouTuber Jon Prosser said on Twitter that the Pixel 5 would be available on September 30th in two color options, black and green. The black Pixel 4a 5G will ship on the same date, while the white Pixel 4a 5G would be available only later.

Prosser is known for his various accurate Apple leaks from earlier this year, which included iPhone SE launch details and prices as well as several other Apple-related moves during the first months of the COVID-19 lockdowns. He also offered plenty of details about the iPhone 12 series, including last week’s leak that said Apple would host its iPhone 12 keynote in mid-October. Apple might host the event on October 13th or 14th, and the phones might ship on October 19th.

The new Pixel 5 leak seems to contradict Google France, which mistakenly listed October 8th as the preorder date for the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 in the region. However, the same Google France blog post indicated that the Pixel 4a would only launch in the country on October 1st. If Prosser’s information is accurate, Google might launch the fall Pixels in the US first, followed by other international markets.

Still, an October 8th launch date in France and other European markets would help Google beat Apple to market with new devices. This would be a first for Google and fits perfectly with the 2020 meme. Google will not actually sell more phones than Apple, and the Pixel 5 will hardly be a worth iPhone 12 rival. Benchmarks show that the handset will not perform better than the Pixel 4, which, in turn, has no chance against the iPhone 11 in speed tests.

Also, rumors say the Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 will both start at $699. There’s no scenario where the Pixel 5 is a better option than the iPhone for the average buyers. I’m not counting Pixel enthusiasts who are loyal to the brand who will soon defend Google’s decision to go for a mid-range chip on its “flagship” phone.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.