Google has officially discontinued both the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, revealing that once all the remaining phones are taken from the store, neither will be replenished.
“According to our current forecasts, we assume that the Google Store in the US will be sold out in the coming weeks after the introduction of Pixel 5a (5G) from Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5,” a Google spokesman said Digital trends.
“The Pixel 5a (5G) is a great option for customers and offers valuable hardware upgrades at a lower price compared to the Pixel 4a (5G),” added the spokesman.
That’s certainly true, as our Pixel 5a review proves, but it’s a bit tough for those who can’t buy it. Google has made it very clear that the entry-level Pixel will be available exclusively in the US and Japan in 2021.
However, it appears that the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 are being phased out globally, with Digital Trends noting that UK retailers John Lewis and the Carphone Warehouse have already ceased sales of the two discontinued models. The 5G-less Pixel 4a is the only model still available.
In summary, the reasons for both the early discontinuation of the Pixel last year and the limited availability of the Pixel 5a are likely due to the same cause: the ongoing global chip shortage.
In particular, the pixels covered by this announcement (5, 5a, and 4a 5G) all use the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 chipset. If only Google has enough supply to make the Pixel 5a available in two countries, it stands to reason that it doesn’t waste chips on older phones elsewhere in the world, where demand may have slowed. The basic Pixel 4a, meanwhile, uses the Snapdragon 730G chip, so it’s not affected.
Even if the Pixel 5 is sold out today, the flagship-shaped hole in Google’s store won’t be around for long: the company has already announced the first details about its Pixel 6 phones, which will be released later this year.
Since they’re powered by the company’s own new tensor chip, Google is hoping they’ll be a little better isolated from chip supply issues going forward.
But that just scratches the surface of the expected benefits with artificial intelligence and machine learning on the device very promising a “transformed experience for camera, speech recognition and other Pixel 6 functions”.
If you can orientate yourself on Google’s past event calendars, we should take a closer look at the Pixel 6 in October. But be warned: it promises to be expensive.