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Ukrainian black market seller probably responsible for rash of Pixel 3 XL leaks

The Ukrainian black market merchant reportedly is selling the unreleased phone for $2,000 each.

Published onAugust 22, 2018

A leaked image of the box contents of the Google Pixel 3 XL.
  • It looks like a Ukrainian black market seller could be the source of the massive leak of Google Pixel 3 XL images and video.
  • While there is no direct proof, 9to5Google has compelling anecdotal evidence suggesting that most of the leaks originated with this seller.
  • The seller is reportedly offering the unreleased Google Pixel 3 XL for $2,000 each.

Earlier today, we posted an article about a massive series of leaks of Google Pixel 3 XL information. The leaked images and video leave very little to the imagination; other than pricing and availability, there’s pretty much nothing we don’t know about the device now.

Now, via 9to5Google, we might have an explanation for the rash of leaks. According to independent research, it seems that the leaks allegedly started with a Ukrainian black market merchant. The merchant is using the anonymity of Telegram to peddle the devices for $2,000 each.

The username of the Ukrainian merchant is not available to discourage future sales.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL officially announced: Camera improvements galore
Pixel 3 XL hands on

The merchant claims to have had “many” units of the Pixel 3 XL available, although did not disclose exactly how many they have sold. At one point, the merchant was negotiating a sale for ten units to one buyer, so it’s safe to say the merchant had a significant supply.

9to5Google reader supplied screenshots of a conversation with the Ukrainian merchant in which the $2,000 price tag is revealed as well as a trading point at an unnamed shop in London. See one shot below:

While this evidence seems to paint a convincing story, it’s not at all clear where these devices came from. It’s easy to assume that the devices were somehow stolen from some sort of production facility, but there’s no evidence for that quite yet. However, the theory that Google purposely leaked these devices for either hype or distraction is looking less likely than it did this morning.

Right now, it seems very likely that this Ukrainian merchant and/or their accomplices stole a large number of production units of the Google Pixel 3 XL and is selling them for a hefty profit. If that’s true, this is likely one of the biggest pre-release mishaps for the mobile industry in recent memory.

NEXT: Here’s everything you could want to see of the Google Pixel 3 XL. Why is this happening?

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