As it's getting close to Nexus season, the rumors about Google's next phone are really starting to pile up. As are the leaks. And at this point, it can be really fun to hop on the speculation express to conclusion town. Dare I say, it's understandable. Even "Nexus 5" - a name that has been confirmed (even circumstantially) exactly zero times - seems to be such a concrete fact now that you'd have to be a moron not to believe that's what the next Nexus is going to be called, right? Is that probably a pretty good guess? Sure! More likely than not, even? I'd take that bet. But it goes to show that many Nexus rumors, such as the name of the product, have been subject to very little scrutiny. Because if no one knows the name, then no one has the right to tell another person that they're wrong about it and oh my god did you hear the Nexus 5 is going to have optical image stabilization? It's totally going to. And the case isn't glass anymore so it won't break and every phone comes with a KitKat bar.
Yes, I'm being a bit of an asshole about this, and I'm sorry. But sometimes, there are just some rumors that need a very direct, very blunt squashing. And this whole "Spigen case on Amazon = Nexus 5 release date" thing is one of them. Not just because it's speculative. Not just because it's totally sketchy as anything resembling a "reliable source." No, it's mostly because no one even bothered to look into it in any depth, and just went off the handle writing things because they could.
Oh look, a page about nothing.
You know what one hour and two emails to Spigen yielded? Concrete information! Huge surprise, right? Actually emailing a company and asking them about a product listing with their name on it. They'd never talk about something like that! I'm as shocked as you are. And do you know what that exchange revealed? Spigen doesn't know anything, at all. When asked about the "Nexus 5" case listings, Spigen's marketing rep, Richard Park, had this to say:
"Due to recent leaks we’re anticipating a Nexus 5 announcement shortly so we’ve put up place-holder listings in advance... 10/31 is just an estimated date that we’ve decided upon since we believe the Nexus 5 will be announced early October."
So yes, Spigen's product listing is talking out of its ass. You know, if product listings could speak. Or had butts. It is 100% pure unadulterated BS thought up by Spigen as a hype-building tactic to sell as yet non-existent cases for an as yet unannounced phone with an as yet unannounced release date. The stories posted about this whole thing have been exactly what Spigen wanted. Nobody goofed up (aside from the people posting about it), nobody "jumped the gun." No cats escaped bags. Spigen read some Nexus rumors, created a product listing with a fabricated release date based on those rumors to sell cases, and the tech community then swiftly obliged and jumped on those product listings as a new rumor corroborating its own, earlier speculation without actually doing anything resembling fact-checking to see if Spigen was full of it.
This is what needs to stop. Drawing conclusions based on direct evidence or believable circumstantial evidence, leaks, and reasonable extrapolation is one thing. That's a thing we like to do here, actually. A generic accessory listing on Amazon published by a 3rd party with no real reason to know / divulge a product's exact release date is not believable circumstantial evidence. It's a fairly blatant and sleazy marketing / SEO strategy. And giving this "story" a pass as "news," frankly, is a disgrace to tech journalism. It is lazy, counterproductive, and it helps exactly no one. Well, apart from Spigen. It's mindlessly regurgitated white noise that only serves to confuse and misinform people.
To be perfectly clear, it's entirely possible the next Nexus phone will launch in October. October or November are probably pretty good bets. But that doesn't mean it's open season on rumormongering every time a piece of sketchy evidence pops up falling in line with these guesses. Because that's what they are: guesses.
So please, I ask you: hold yourself to a higher standard. Ask for sources. Demand concrete evidence. Don't let naysayers browbeat you for ignoring "the obvious." No rumor is so obvious that it does not need to be questioned - that's what makes it a rumor.