In short: An illustration of the Pixel Stand wireless charger rumored to launch alongside the Pixel 3 series of Android flagships leaked online earlier today after being data-mined from the code of the latest version (8.22) of the Google app. The image above shows a simplistic accessory and doesn't clarify how the gadget holds the device in an upright position but adds more credence to recent reports indicating the Pixel Stand will be launching early next month. Google's latest set of consumer electronics is scheduled to be announced on October 9.
Background: Previous reports suggested the Pixel Stand may be capable of turning the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL into Google Assistant-enabled speakers and while the new leak doesn't suggest support for the AI helper, it does suggest the accessory will allow the upcoming smartphones to display a slideshow gallery of sorts. The device is believed to support wireless charging given how the Pixel 3 handsets have already been all but confirmed to be compatible with the same technology. The gadget is likely to be sold separately, starting at around $50 or higher, at least if similar solutions from other manufacturers are any indication.
Impact: Google hasn't delivered an Android smartphone with wireless charging capabilities since the 2014 Nexus 6 manufactured by Motorola, with a return to the technology coming at a time when many fans of the existing Pixel lineup were calling for precisely that course of action. The upcoming handsets are still expected to feature some polarizing elements, including a display notch (on the larger Pixel 3 XL) and an omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Whether everything balances out and results in a commercial success remains to be seen, though it's presently unclear how Google would define success in the first place seeing how the Pixel product family still isn't available on a global level and the company historically had major issues with keeping it in stock, suggesting modest production goals.