Update, March 6: In light of Rick Osterloh’s statement below, the source that originally tipped off 9to5Google about an alleged “budget Pixel” reached out to clarify that the phone won’t necessarily be a Pixel. Supposedly, this budget phone is developed by the Pixel team alongside the premium Pixel 2 that Osterloh confirmed. That said, it could come to market as an Android One device, something different, or it may be scrapped completely. Regardless of the name, this budget device from Google won’t be sold in the United States. It sounds to us like the situation is very murky for now, so don’t get your hopes high, one way or another.
Original post, March 3: Google’s Senior Vice President of hardware, Rick Osterloh, has confirmed that the Google Pixel will receive a sequel in 2017. Osterloh made the comments in a recent press meeting at MWC in Barcelona, where he also hinted at a timeline for the device’s launch.
“There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it,” said Osterloh, adding, “You can count on a [Google Pixel] successor this year, even if you don’t hear a date from me now.”
Though a Google Pixel successor arriving around October this year already seemed like a safe bet, Osterloh also confirmed that the handset would “stay premium,” says AndroidPIT, and stuck to his answer in the face of further questioning from journalists.
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This appears to stand contrary to earlier speculation from 9to5Google which suggested Google is planning to introduce a budget Pixel device (alongside a premium one), previously thought to be called the Pixel 2B. However, it remains possible that Google is planning to create a budget Android device, simply without the Pixel name, to maintain a separation between its iPhone-competing Pixel brand and a lower-spec device.
Previous speculation regarding the Pixel 2 indicates it would include a higher price tag — possibly $50 more — a better CPU and camera (as you would expect) and the waterproofing seemingly omitted from the original Pixels.
Are you disappointed to learn that Google won’t produce a less expensive Pixel? Or is Google right to target the premium market only? Give us your thoughts in the comments.