It was less than a year ago that Google introduced the Pixel 4 and 4XL. In fact, it’s been just a little over 10 months. However, it appears that Google has already decided to discontinue its current flagship phones, with both devices out of stock in the U.S., per the Verge.
That’s an awfully short lifespan for a Google phone. Both the Pixel 2 and 3 were available for sale months after next-gen versions were launched, and it’d stand to reason that Google would have continued to sell the 4 and 4XL after introducing the cheaper Pixel 4a earlier this week.
“Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 4 [and] 4XL,” a Google spokesperson told the Verge. They went on to confirm that the phones may still be available through some retail partners until they, too, blow through their inventory. For current owners of the Pixel 4 and 4XL, Google told the Verge it has committed to providing software and security support for “at least three years from when the device first became available on the Google Store in the U.S.” Given that the phones were released in the U.S. on October 24, 2019, that would mean Google plans to provide updates through October 24, 2022.
The conundrum is that at least until a Pixel 5 emerges, Google is left without a premium flagship phone. To be fair, the Pixel 4a will go on sale later this month on the 20th—but with a streamlined feature set and $350 price tag, it’s firmly in the budget category. (Not that that’s a bad thing.) It’s possible that Google decided that with the Pixel 4/4XL inventory out of stock and delays in the global supply chain due to the pandemic that it wasn’t worth the effort of keeping the 4 and 4a going. Especially not when the Pixel 5 is likely just a few months from launch. Google teased the Pixel 5 alongside the 4a (5G)earlier this week, noting that the latter would be available later this fall at $500. As for exactly when this fall, 9to5 Google spotted a Google France blog that may have accidentally announced the launch date for preorders as October 8, 2020.
Know anything about Google’s decision or the planned Pixel 5? You can drop me a line at email@example.com or reach out anonymously via SecureDrop.
Correction, 08/06/2020, 10:35am: This article has been updated to clarify that it is the Pixel 4a (5G) that will cost $500, not the Pixel 5. We regret the error.