Last week, we shared evidence of some Pixel 4 price leaks, as well as corroboration of color names, further evidence of the 2nd generation Nest Mini, and more. The headline of that article specifically called out these prices as unreliable, and that’s because they are. Here’s why you should take the Pixel 4 price leaks like this with a huge grain of salt…

What were the Pixel 4 price leaks?

First of all, here’s what we’re working with. Here are the supposed prices for the four models of Pixel 4 that showed up on Irish retailer Elara’s website:

  • Google Pixel 4 64 GB €819.98 (“on sale” from €922.97)
  • Google Pixel 4 128 GB €942.18 (“on sale” from €1,059.95)
  • Google Pixel 4 XL 64 GB €1,009.98 (“on sale” from €1,136.06)
  • Google Pixel 4 XL 128 GB €1,126.68 (“on sale” from €1,267.52)

They might be placeholders

The most obvious reason to be skeptical is that this one single Irish retailer can’t be trusted for pricing info any more than any other random retailer can be trusted for pre-launch pricing information. There’s very little reason to believe that this pricing, even in its native currency, is representative of the pricing the devices will have when they launch.

If further information comes to light via other retailers, then we can begin to maybe piece together some potential prices. But a sample size of one isn’t exactly great for this kind of speculation — sites like Elara have been known to put random placeholder prices online while they wait for official pricing from their suppliers (in this case, Google). Pricing is typically finalized very late.

Pixel 4 prices are “discounted?”

Another obvious reason to treat these prices with skepticism is that the retailer itself in this case doesn’t even know how to price them. All four models are “on sale” at Elara, currently sitting at about €100 off from their normal prices. Therefore, we don’t have any way of knowing what the “actual” prices are, assuming they aren’t just placeholders, as mentioned above.

Are these devices meant to be priced at €819.98, or are they actually €922.97? It’s impossible to know what a “sale” is supposed to mean on Elara’s site, especially when the devices themselves haven’t even launched yet. All the coverage I’ve seen of these prices around the web have assumed the lower prices are the “real” prices, but there’s no evidence that’s true.

You can’t just convert Euros to USD

Beyond the uncertainties of whether the prices are placeholders or discounted (or not), the biggest mistake you can make when a price leak like this happens is just directly converting the prices in euros to USD. That’s a problem for two reasons in this case. First, the prices listed are clearly labeled as VAT included, and second, you just can’t do that. International pricing just doesn’t work that way.

Let’s illustrate using the current Google Pixel 3 prices. The Pixel 3 is available on the Google Store in Ireland from €899. That’s the price for the base model Pixel 3. What is the direct conversion of that price to USD? Well, that changes every day (another problem with trying to convert prices this way!), but today it is equivalent to $990. Is the base Pixel 3 $990 in the US? Not even close.

It’s well-established that international pricing can seem nonsensical — those prices are often far higher than they are in the United States. Most of the time, when you try to convert a price for a smartphone from a non-US currency to a US currency, you’re going to get a seemingly crazy high US price.

What do we take from the Pixel 4 price leaks?

There’s not much we can really take away from these price listings. There is one thing to note, though, and it’s the same thing I noted in my original post about this leak.

It’d be a fool’s errand to try and convert those to USD, but at this one single retailer, in a currency that is not USD, the Pixel 4 is cheaper than the Pixel 3.

Assuming these prices aren’t just placeholders, and assuming the “discounted” prices are the real leaked prices, the Pixel 4 is priced cheaper compared to the Pixel 3 at this retailer. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that will be true in the US (or even in Ireland), but it’s the one thing I would take away from this leak. It also aligns with common sense — the Pixel has felt a bit overpriced the last couple years and have struggled to sell. A more aggressive price this year might make sense.

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About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.