Google to Release Upgraded Pixel in the Fall
June 11, 2018
Google is working on an upgraded Pixel smartphone line-up for this fall, including a model with a nearly edge-to-edge screen, seeking to boost revenue for a critically acclaimed phone that has yet to make a major sales impact in the market. The Alphabet Inc. unit is planning at least two new models, likely to be dubbed the “Pixel 3” and “Pixel 3 XL,” said people familiar with the matter. The larger phone is designed with a nearly edge-to-edge screen, except for a thicker bezel known as a chin at the bottom of the phone. The display also will have a notch -- or a cutout -- at the top. The smaller model will look similar to the Pixel 2 and won’t include the notch or edge-to-edge look, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t yet public. Google’s Pixel smartphones are widely regarded as some of the best Android-based devices, but they continue to lag far behind Apple Inc.’s iPhone and products from Samsung Electronics Co. in sales and market share. Google shippedfewer than 4 million units in 2017, according to data from IDC. Google intends to keep updating its Pixel line annually as it sees the hardware division as important to the company’s long-term future. As it has done the past two years, Google plans to roll out the new phones in October, about a month after Apple typically announces its new devices. Verizon Wireless Inc., for the third year in a row, will be the exclusive U.S. carrier partner for the new Pixels, the people said. The plans for the new Pixels could change before the phones are released, the people said. A spokeswoman for Google declined to comment on the new phones. Google has discussed building its phones for the first time with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., In January, Google acquired parts of HTC Corp., and the engineering talent it got in the deal is heavily involved in the hardware and software development of the new devices, one of the people said.