As many of you know by now, we posted and pulled, a leaked image and info of what was supposedly the prototype of an HTC Nexus 3. Over the past 24-48 hours I’ve been dealing with an onslaught of questions, comments and even threats (from readers, which I find to be in bad taste). I wanted to give you all an update on where things stand at this point.
I know many of you believe this photo to be the real deal, as did I…and some of you claim it is fake just because you want to, while other claim fake for other reasons, which are more valid. At this point I can not say for a 100% certainty, but my gut feeling is, I’ve been duped. Allow me to explain.
As you can imagine, with all the hype surrounding this leak, I’ve had emails from all sorts of people and companies asking for more details. So I kept going back to my source, my friend, who works for Google, or so he claimed. You see after speaking with Kyle Sandler, aka TheDroidGuy, I questioned my friend about a few things, like could he email from his @Google.com email address, could he send me a high-res version of the photo to be verified, send me a business card with his name on it and few other things. He said he couldn’t email me with his work address because it was for internal use only (Kyle debunked that), he said he didn’t have a business card and that he only took a low res picture with his cellphone. Shortly after this I noticed I couldn’t find him in my friends list on facebook, he had removed me. I sent him a few more emails and even called him and left him 4 voicemails. That was this afternoon, and I have yet to receive a response. At first, I thought perhaps Google had discovered it was him who leaked this stuff out and informed him to cut me off. You see it was he, who had politely asked me to remove the photos and leaked info, why I’m not sure yet…guilt?. Normally, I would have left the info on the site as I believe in the freedom of speech and the press, but I removed it for him, for our friendship, and I was genuinely concerned for his job.
But now I was becoming more suspicious that things were not adding up. After speaking Kyle, he said that not one, but two, people from Adobe were telling him the photo was a fake. When you have that type of expertise telling you this…you start to listen. Kyle also provided me with a phone number to Google’s switchboard and told me that every (over 20,000) Googler has a voicemail on the system. When I called…he was not listed.
Could he just not be on the list, perhaps, but it does raise more red flags. I still can not stay whether or not he’s never worked at Google. As I told Kyle, his facebook info listed Google as his employer but his location was San Francisco… which is over an hour and half away from Mountain View. Perhaps he worked there for a time and things ended badly? I don’t know. Some of you may say, anyone could write anything for their job on facebook, why did you believe him? Well, we went to school together, we were very close and have know each other for over 10 years. I ask you, would you truly doubt a friend you’ve know for that long?
But as I have said before on this site, I am about honesty. With everything that has been going on the last two days, I felt I needed to at least tell you all what I know at this point. The photo could very well be faked, since two experts at Adobe even suggest it. But since I can’t get the original I don’t know 100%, but my gut is telling me it is after all I’ve learned today. I understand that my credibility may have taken a hit today, but I hope that being honest with you all and telling you what I do know will help repair the site’s and my reputation.
A few of you have emailed me and told me that I should have left the stuff up, I probably should have, but I did what I did for what I thought was a friend. I thought I was doing the right thing. I know I am not the first site, nor am I going to be the last, that will have a situation like this happen to them. But as someone who tries to be brutally honest with news, reviews and editorials….I couldn’t just sit back and let this ride out. I had to be upfront and honest.
So I’d like to take this one step further…I’m sure after all that has happened, at least one REAL Google employee has visited the site. I’m asking someone from Google or the Android Development team to reach out to me at MIKE @ TECHHOG.COM and I will provide you with my friends REAL name and perhaps then we can verify if he did in fact work their be it, previously, currently or has never been a Google employee. Then we will know for sure whether this photo and information is real.
In the end, I hope that some of you will continue to visit the site and participate in our conversations, I’m sure the haters will continue to hate on us just because that’s what they live for and others will just never come back. But hopefully, out of all this, you will respect us and me for being upfront and honest with you all about what is going on and I will remain on tact at trying to figure out if this is true. Once I do have a clear answer, I will post it here. If that means I have to “eat crow” and admit I was wrong and it was a fake after all… then so be it. I’m man enough to admit I was duped and will just move on from there.
For those of you who’ve supported me and the site during all the nay-sayers, thank you. Your support means a lot and I can only hope that I can repair whatever damage has been done to this site due to this ridiculous mess.
Founder and Senior Editor of Tech Hog