Sony Nexus X was a fake, and the failure of our reporting

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Sony Nexus X was a fake, and the failure of our reporting
We all wanted to believe it, because we all really want to see what a Sony Nexus device would be like, but unfortunately we were all fooled this past week. And worse, the entire tech news community failed in our reporting of the story. The story came to us via a tip from a reader this past Monday, and we reported it as unsubstantiated rumor, but that wasn't quite enough. 

The originator of the Sony Nexus X images has explained how this all happened to Gizmodo, and it's really a bit embarrassing for the tech news community. Ti Kawamoto says that he was just a graphic designer who was practicing his 3D modeling skills by putting together a concept of a Sony Nexus device. He made a new Picasa account, uploaded the pictures, and then just 16 hours later, with no action on his part, the pictures were picked up by the first mobile news blog, XperiaBlog, at 9:30AM. By 10, the story had spread to other mobile news sites (and hey, Phone Arena gets front and center billing
Sony Nexus X was a fake, and the failure of our reporting
in the infographic timeline!), at by 10:30 it was picked up by The Verge, at 11 Gizmodo also ran the story, and finally at 1PM TechCrunch joined the party. At the end of it, a Google News search for "Sony Nexus X" came up with 521 articles, and a general web search came up with 90,000 sites referencing the news. But, here's the really embarrassing part: at no point during that time did any news site (including us) even attempt to contact Ti, or rather the pseudonym used on the Picasa account, a one Mutul Yeter. That's a big failure right there, and we do apologize for the oversight. 

The fake was quite a well done one though. It slipped past the Photoshop test, because it wasn't completely created in Photoshop and had none of the normal markers. The images were 3D renders, made with Blender 2.63, of the device superimposed on real images of Ti's desk. Ti said that the most important thing in creating the model was to know his audience, and therefore the minutia of design from both Sony and Nexus devices. When reporting on the original images, we said that the device looks like an adapted Xperia T, and there was a reason we thought that. 

Sony Nexus X was a fake, and the failure of our reporting
Apparently, Ti used a mixture of the Xperia TL and the Xperia Ion when designing the device. The camera and micro USB design and placement were borrowed from the design of the Xperia TL, while the power/volume/camera buttons, the sharp corners, rear speaker, and "big ass hump" were taken from the Xperia Ion. To make it a Nexus, Ti simply added the Google logo, and the pogo pin connector on the side. Ti bumped up the realism of the image by adding in scuff marks and scratches, to make it really look like a beat up prototype. 

Overall, it was an impressively made fake, but a fake nonetheless. And, it's an extra hard one for us, because Ti has not only come out to explain his fake, but to shame the news community for how quickly we accepted it. We will admit that we are sometimes lax in our due diligence, and instead defer to simply reporting something and clearly labeling it an unsubstantiated rumor. It's a bad habit, and one that we have to try to fix, because we tend to strive to bring you guys news faster, even at the expense of not following up enough. 

Of course, when we mess up, we also want to bring you the correction and apology as quickly as possible as well. We all wanted the news of a Sony Nexus to be true, so maybe we didn't work as hard as we should have to check the facts, and we're sorry about that. Still, Ti was able to achieve his secondary goal, which was to broaden the discussion of a possible Sony Nexus. We've certainly been talking about it. Now, we're just hoping that Sony and Google saw the excitement in the user base, and maybe a Sony Nexus will become a reality sometime soon.

source: Gizmodo

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51 Comments

1. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

some reason phone arena thinks I am in China.. lol

27. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

There is no need to apologize for that, PhoneArena. Right from the scratch You guys were clearly stating that it was a rumor and were insisting to take that with a pitch(in this case a pound) of salt... Anyway at the end of the day, a rumor is a rumor. So some goes true and sometimes they go wrong.. You PA guys gave us something to talk and merry about.... we really enjoyed talking and discussing about Sony nexus... BTW I hope this doesnt hinder you guys from posting rumours about the future products... I love PhoneArena

30. Intelligence

Posts: 4; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

I find it hilarious some guys little art project exploded into a huge tech rumor, getting people's hopes up.

37. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I had a good laugh off it.

40. loli5

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

That's because you suck and your sense of humor sucks.

49. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't get mad at me. I couldn't help but get a good laugh. I didn't tell PA and the other tech sites to publish those stories without checking the credibility of their source.

2. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

A journalistic fail for cellphone bloggers, not just Phone Arena but all the others. Even Gizmodo who ran the story before confirming it was a fake.

17. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This certainly kills a lot of credibility as journalists for not treating every rumor and leak with a grain of salt.

22. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Problem with tech rumors is that the information can be anywhere and is easy to fake and make certain info as if it where true. That's why rumors are shown as that rumors, I think tech sites do an awesome job with news even when they fall for some tricks... cmon a CNN woman though the iPhone concept with holographic screen was the next iPhone so why our writers can't confuse a render with a possible device. I mean if gizmodo doubted I would have never got the iPhone 4 scoop, same goes with the bigger iPhone and ipad, for all we should care any device is possible, and with digital sources what means can assure a rumor is 100% accurate

31. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Only Daniel P. really treated it with some skepticism, quoting from his article: "As every rumor goes, should be taken with a grain of sodium chloride. The back says Google indeed, though it might be an elaborate render". Of course unless you don´t knowthat sodium chlride is actually salt... So think PA is not in the wrong here and there is not need to appologize. I like to see the rumors, as far as they advices they ar just that, RUMORS.

51. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

like ur avatar

48. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Yep, it's fake.... Confirmed. Just like PhoneArena is.

52. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Hahaha, i got a warning because i said P.A. is a fake. Wow, Pathetic!!!

3. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

I was really hoping wishing this really was the SONY Nexus, cause of those sharp edgy designs really look contempopary. What a joke®©

4. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

Sony should hire him :)

47. AppleConspiracy

Posts: 637; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Why? To fake something?

6. daddysbeenabadgirl

Posts: 157; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

They should name it after him. Sony Nexus TI

7. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

We really can't put the blame on PA for this misleading sony nexus x and same goes for the other tech websites out there.

24. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

You are absolutely right, we can not blame PhoneArena; it was me, I started the rumour just to prove that PhoneArena was so busy writing iPhone stories to investigate the real facts. I was also slightly upset for getting banned last week (again). So, now, I challenge PhoneArena to utilize the rest of the weekend productively and get us the actual release date of Verizon's Galaxy Note 2 or I'll be forced to start the vicious rumour that iPhone 5S will have a larger 4.01" display and BodyTime™ (as seen in those Youtube iPhone 5 videos).

9. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

You got what you deserve; egg on your face. This site as well as all the others are in such damn rush to be 1st with info that you print damn well anything. Take the time to stop and verify stuff 1st. So what if you're not 1st? I'd rather have accurate info! And please don't spew that BS about giving us what we want. It's a well known fact that all the sites try and make the news by constantly posting crap just to get page hits.

10. jan25

Posts: 470; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

actually Android Central and Android and Me said it was a fake on the first day it appeared by their photoshop experts.

42. loli5

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

The problem was since it didn't have a shiny apple on it iphonearena didn't care enough to look into the validity

11. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

Too bad. I dug its corners.

12. fistigons

Posts: 368; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Ouch. Comment got deleted for speaking the truth. Man up. You did sloppy reporting. Android Police, Android Central and Android and Me did their job.

13. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

................:( (crys silently)

29. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

*visualizes Kenny crying after his girlfriend gets her promise ring from the Jonas Brothers* It's all right. The Motorola Occam rumor is probably fake too. All we'll have this year is a f**king LG Nexus. *spits angrily*

34. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You actually watch that show lol?

41. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes, of course I've watched South Park. What, don't like that either?

43. loli5

Posts: 76; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Probably not since they took their first shot at apple. What a tool.

50. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I like South Park. You watch the Jonas Brothers. That's what I meant.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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