Last week we all got wind of the news that the good folks over in Mountain View had invited some media people to an event on October 24th, only two days after Apple gave its keynote. Considering the enormous hype over the launch of the Nexus 5 and the new version of Android, many people thought the reason for the call was the presentation of these products. In the end it just turned out to be an unnecessary “party” in which the company tooted its own horn about the successes of Google Play and did very else.
Either Google tricked the media, or the media tricked consumers, or consumers tricked themselves because of Google; you can read the situation however you like. What’s obvious is that the Internet blew the whole announcement out of proportion to the extent that average users started to see it as a definitive counteroffensive against Apple to co-opt some of the media hullaballoo after the unveiling of the new iPad and MacBook Pro.
When the time of the conference rolled around, at 7pm Pacific time, many of us were expectantly waiting to see news start flying around our social networks. But in the end all we got was the tweet below and a few comments after the fact from the attendees, who clarified that they already knew that nothing whatsoever was going to be announced there, keeping us all hanging to the point that some began to speculate that the whole thing pointed to some sort of supposed information embargo.
— Google Play (@GooglePlay) October 24, 2013
And now, just when the furor has started to die down, the turbulence has started all over again, with a new rumor that the Nexus 5 will be presented on October 31—Halloween night. Trick or treat? Whether there will be a treat remains to be seen, but the trick seems to be in fanning expectations while continually putting the launch off, whether intentionally or for external causes. Some have even blamed the delay on the shutdown of the U.S. government that happened at the beginning of the month, which affected countless industries, including the tech sector.
Of course, while it’s clear that the Google announcement was misunderstood, it’s equally true that the conference last week was completely unnecessary. If it was a publicity maneuver to generate buzz, it obviously worked, although doing it two days after the Apple event smacks strongly of the cheekiness that we’re getting used to seeing from the heavyweights in the tech industry. If we add to that the terrible deterioration that usually happens in information quality when it passes through the filter of the Internet, I guess this sort of thing is to be expected.