A new rumor claims that T-Mobile may soon begin selling the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. If the report is accurate, this will break the U.S. carrier exclusive that Verizon Wireless has held onto for all of Google’s Pixel phones for the past few years.
The report comes from 9to5Google, via unnamed sources. The statement doesn’t offer much in terms of additional information, such as a possible release date or prices for the phones at T-Mobile. Google sells unlocked versions of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL directly — which work on T-Mobile’s network — and also sells the phones on its Google Fi MVNO network, which in part uses the cellular network hardware from T-Mobile.
Verizon has been the only carrier in the U.S. to sell Pixel phones since the original Pixel and Pixel XL launched in 2016. That exclusivity with Verizon continued with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL in 2017 and the current Pixel 3 and 3 XL, which were released in 2018. However, T-Mobile always made a point to tell interested Pixel buyers that the unlocked phones will work just as well on its network. In 2017, T-Mobile trolled Verizon’s San Francisco press event for the Pixel 2, driving trucks around the venue that advertised a special rebate deal for any Pixel 2 buyers.
It’s possible that Google is looking to expand the reach of its Pixel 3 phones beyond Verizon Wireless if a deal to sell the phones via T-Mobile actually happens. While Verizon most likely paid a ton of money to Google for that sales exclusivity for the Pixel phones, Google may now be more concerned with gaining market share in the U.S.
Google Pixel 3a testing by T-Mobile underway?
In the same report by 9to5Google, it claims that T-Mobile has started testing the rumored Google Pixel 3a phones on its network. AndroidPolice was able to confirm this claim via an independent source. According to the publication, the Pixel 3, 3 XL, #a, and 3a XL will all be able on the Uncarrier “soon.”
These reports don’t come as much of a surprise as it was expected that the upcoming lower-priced Pixel phones would be compatible with T-Mobile’s network.