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(Pocket-lint) - The Google Pixel 4a has appeared in an official form on the Google Store, where a picture of the elusive smartphone was reportedly posted, according to 9to5Google.

The enigmatic phone is approaching Yeti status - often sighted but no one is really sure if it exists. What's most interesting about this image is not the form of the phone which we've seen before, but the date on the display. 

It's common to have the launch date displayed in such images and in this case, the date is 12 May 2020. In the normal cycle of things we get to see these images leak before a device is launched, often revealing the unveiling.

In the case of the Pixel 4a, we're getting confirmation of that date 2 months after the original launch plans were shelved. We'd predicted that 12 May would be the launch date for the Pixel 4a because that was supposed to be the opening keynote of Google I/O - an event that was then cancelled. 

This image is probably the closest we've got to something official on this phone. When Google I/O didn't happen we thought it would launch at the Android 11 Beta Show - but that was then cancelled too. We've been saying for some time that Google needs to get on and launch something - and 13 July was one of the leaked dates that we thought it might happen. 

The longer that this mid-range phone doesn't launch, the closer we get to the launch of the Pixel 5 - and it's going to be a strange day if Google announces the Pixel 4a and the Pixel 5 at the same time. 

For now we just have to wait and watch: there's been a mass of leaks for this cheaper Pixel, but currently we have no idea when it's going to launch or what its name might be.

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 13 July 2020.