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Google didn't tease the Pixel 8 at I/O, why?

Google teased the Pixel 7 series at I/O 2022, but why didn't it give us a look at the Pixel 8 series this time?

Published onMay 31, 2023

Google IO 2023 Logo Stock Image
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Google I/O concluded a few weeks ago, and the company had plenty to show off at the developer conference. There was the $500 Pixel 7a, the Pixel Fold, and the Pixel Tablet, but no mention of the highly anticipated Pixel 8 line.

That’s in stark contrast to last year, when Google teased the Pixel 7 series at I/O 2022. No such teaser for its next-gen flagship this time has us wondering why this was the case, and we have a few potential reasons.

No major leaks to force Google’s hand

Google Pixel 7 Pro snow white next to Google Pixel 7 lemongrass green
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The first potential reason: there weren’t any major Pixel 8 leaks before I/O to effectively force Google to shed more light on the product. Sure, we’ve seen alleged renders from serial leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, but he leaks almost every phone. We have spotted a recent leak showing a Pixel 8 Pro with an integrated thermometer, but that happened after I/O.

It's possible but perhaps unlikely that leaks effectively forced Google to show off the Pixel 7 series at I/O last year.

By comparison, the Pixel 7 series was comprehensively outed last year thanks to spec leaks and the usual OnLeaks renders. However, we only saw massive leaks, like prototype devices, show up after I/O 2022. So while possible, it’s unlikely that a lack of leaks was the reason Google held off on showing the Pixel 8 series this time.

Google I/O was chock-full of announcements

Google Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold opened up on table 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

A more likely motivation for Google to steer clear of a Pixel 8 series tease was that it already had a ton of announcements for the event. There was the Pixel Tablet and accompanying charging speaker dock, the mid-range Pixel 7a, and the company’s first foldable in the Pixel Fold. Of course, these hardware reveals were in addition to the company’s software/AI announcements, which also took center stage on the day.

So it makes sense that Google didn’t throw the Pixel 8 series in there, as this would’ve made for a crowded stage. The Pixel flagship series is big enough that Google can always grab headlines later this year with either a preliminary teaser or a full-fledged reveal.

The Pixel 7a also comes in at $500, just $100 less than the Pixel 7. The 7a already struggles to make a clearcut value argument for itself, and Google certainly would have trampled on the mid-rangers thunder with a vanilla Pixel 8. After all, some consumers might prefer to hold out for the flagship if it’s only a little more expensive than the mid-range option.

A chance for the Pixel 7 series to sell more units

google pixel 7 pro home screen standing
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Smartphone brands seldom announce the existence of next-generation phones months and months ahead of the actual launch event. And there’s a good reason for that.

By announcing a next-generation device way ahead of schedule, manufacturers run the risk of adversely affecting sales of their current models. “Why buy the Pixel 7 now if Google just showed me the Pixel 8 and told me it’s coming later this year?” some people might wonder. Sure, next-generation models often feel inevitable, but it’s one thing to expect a new phone and another for the company to confirm its existence.

Sales of the Pixel 7 series might slow down dramatically if Google were to tease the Pixel 8 line.

For what it’s worth, Google also said that its 2022 phones (the Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro) were the best-selling Pixel devices ever. So that could make the company’s decision to hold off on showing the Pixel 8 series much easier, as it would likely want to ride this wave of success a little longer. Simply put, there’s no guarantee that the new phones can maintain this sales momentum, so why jeopardize the current line’s sales?

There’s more at stake with the Pixel 8 series

Pixel 8 Pro 5K1 scaled 1

Another possible reason why Google isn’t super keen to leak the Pixel 8 series is that it’s a bigger change than the Pixel 7 was to the Pixel 6. The Pixel 7 series was effectively the Pixel 6 2022 line, making minor design and hardware changes. So Google didn’t have much new to show off in the first place.

Pixel 8 series renders suggest the phones have undergone a more substantial change. Aside from the Pixel 8 Pro potentially gaining a flat screen, it’s believed the standard Pixel 8 could be smaller. So Google may want to keep things under wraps to (somewhat) surprising people with a bolder redesign this year.

Don’t fret: We’ll see the Pixel 8 series before launch

Even if you’re bummed about not seeing the Pixel 8 range at Google I/O, it’s worth noting that the official launch is still months and months away. And we’re only expecting more and more leaks to occur as we get closer to the expected October launch window, as evident by that recent Pixel 8 Pro thermometer leak.

Are you planning to buy a Pixel 8 series phone?

1200 votes

So Pixel fans and smartphone enthusiasts eager to learn more about the Pixel 8 family won’t be disappointed. In fact, history tells us that you might want to keep an eye out on eBay and Facebook Marketplace for any Pixel 8 series phones popping up long before launch.

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