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Google hints at new phone in invite for October 4 event

Google has stoked speculation that it's about to new launch a new smartphone, with an announcement Tuesday that it's holding an event on October 4.

The U.S. technology giant tweeted a short video showing the Google search bar morphing into a rectangular shape accompanied by the hashtag #madebygoogle.

Clicking the link in the tweet takes you to a site with the same video.

Google is slated to launch its new flagship "Nexus" phones at the event, though several media reports suggest that the device could now carry the name "Pixel". It already has a tablet called Pixel C and a laptop called the Pixel Chromebook. Leaks suggest that the upcoming smartphone will continue the naming trend.

Several media reports suggest that the device will come in a larger 5.5-inch size as well as a standard 5-inch model.

The invite displays a number of high-quality photos suggesting that the device's camera will be a big focus during the event. Top of the range cameras are seen as a differentiating factor for device manufacturers looking to sell their smartphones in an increasingly saturated market. Earlier this month, Apple spent a large part of its iPhone 7 launch talking up the ability of the camera on its handsets.

Google does not manufacture the devices. Instead, HTC is rumored to be making the phones. For Google, the launch is not about selling large quantities of hardware but instead about showing off the possibilities of its Android mobile operating system. It is seen as a way for the technology titan to fuel innovation in the Android hardware space by showing the extent of what is possible with its software.

According to various reports, the October 4 event could also be used to launch a new Chromecast which supports 4K video. Chromecast is a device that plugs into a TV allowing a user to mirror their phone or tablet on a bigger screen. More details about Google Home – the company's "smart hub" similar to Amazon's Echo – could also be given at the event.