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Report: Verizon puts hold on sales of future Pixel phones (Update: Not so fast)

Update: Verizon has denied a report that it's indefinitely halted sales of future Pixel devices.

Published onFebruary 20, 2020

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Update, February 20 2020 (): Verizon has denied a report (seen in the original article below) that it’s put a hold on sales of future Pixel devices.

Android Police reported earlier today that the carrier has indefinitely halted sales of future Pixel devices such as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 5. But Verizon says this isn’t actually the case.

“There is no truth to this report. Verizon continues to work with Google and looks forward to the new portfolio of devices,” a Verizon representative told Android Authority in response to an emailed query.

Original article, February 20 2020 (1:31AM ET): Carrier partnerships are one of the best ways to ensure your smartphone gets attention in the US, but a new report suggests that Google’s Pixel series is about to lose a key carrier partner.

A source familiar with Verizon‘s plans told Android Police that the carrier has put an “indefinite hold” on sales of future Pixel smartphones.

Furthermore, the source told the outlet that they believe the chances of the Pixel 4a launching on Verizon is zero. It’s theoretically possible that the Pixel 5 could launch with the carrier as there’s still time for a change of heart. But it’s believed Verizon’s plans don’t include any future Pixels whatsoever right now.

Slow Pixel sales to blame?

Google executives confirmed a decline in hardware sales and revenue during its Q4 2019 earnings call, but specifically noted that the Pixel 3a series “sold well” in 2019. The company also noted that the Nest Mini and Nest Hub Max sold well, but didn’t mention Pixel 4 sales at all. You’d have to think that the firm would’ve touted good sales if the Pixel 4 series indeed sold well.

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We’d therefore understand if future Pixel flagships aren’t sold by the company (unless they’re super amazing), but missing out on the Pixel 4a series is a perplexing one. The Pixel 3a series was critically acclaimed for delivering the core Pixel selling points (i.e. great camera, stock Android, brisk updates) in a mid-range device. Then again, it’s entirely possible that Google’s definition of great Pixel 3a sales wasn’t up to par with Verizon’s definition.

We’ve contacted both Google and Verizon for comment on the matter, and will update the article when/if they get back to us. Do you think Google will rethink its Pixel strategy if Verizon does indeed halt future Pixel sales? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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