Google Appears To Be Killing Off The Pixel And Pixel XL

Google Appears To Be Killing Off The Pixel And Pixel XL

Google appears to be done with two phones that were the company’s signature devices just two years ago. Ars Technica pointed out that the Pixel and Pixel XL have now disappeared from the Google Store and Project Fi store. Google confirmed to Gizmodo that the devices will no longer be made available to purchase directly from the company.

Photo: Getty

Those still interested in the first-generation of the Pixel and Pixel XL, which were introduced by Google in October 2016, can still find the handsets through third-party retailers such as Amazon and eBay.

Owners of the devices should be aware that Google’s decision to stop selling them means support for the phones will expire soon as well. According to documentation from Google, Android updates for the Pixel and Pixel XL are only guaranteed to be made available through October 2018. Security updates will stop in October 2019, as well Google’s customer support for the devices.

When all is said and done, Google will have provided three years of support to its phones. That’s a pretty small window! The iPhone 5s was introduced in September 2013 and the most recent version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 11, still supports the device five years later.

If not for Google’s lack of support for the handsets going forward, the Pixel and Pixel XL would be perfectly viable if slightly outdated smartphones. The phones feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor that is far from outdated, 4GB of RAM, and a camera that was lauded by reviewers.

Despite this, Google is moving on. The company gave the Pixel and Pixel XL an update in October 2017 with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and will likely refresh the line again later this year. The company briefly kept the first-generation of its flagship phones in its lineup at a discounted price – a role that the second-generation will likely play as well once its successor arrives.

While the Pixel was mostly well-received when Google introduced it, its legacy may be Google’s inability to keep the phone in stock. The device was perpetually unavailable and managed to ship just 3.9 million units of the Pixel and Pixel XL in 2017, according to International Data Corporation Senior Research Director Francisco Jeronimo.

By comparison, Samsung sold 33 million of its flagship Galaxy S8 and Note8 devices during the same timeframe.

If you’re still using the Pixel or Pixel XL, enjoy it while it lasts. The flag is at half-mast for Google’s flagship phones that just never quite made it.

[Ars Technica]


  • I hope that pitifully short period of ongoing support is just due to the small number of units sold rather than a sign of what’s to come for all of their phones going forward?

    • I mean, it’s pretty much a sign of what’s come and gone for all their phones going backward… Case point: Nexus 5, launched October 2013, no major updates after October 2015, no security updates after October 2016. Nexus 7, launched 2012, updates stopped 2014, security updates stopped 2015.

      This isn’t really anything new, but I would have thought that with its significantly increased pricetag, the Pixel would have earned a slightly longer support period than its predecessors.

      • So it’s generally 2 years of updates, 3 years of security patching?

        Although to be fair, they get the updates much earlier than other manufacturers. So the last update you get after 2 years is probably going to be the same as the one that hits Samsung a year later 😛 So 2 years of Google support is probably the equivalent of 3 years for other Android handsets 😛

    • Yeah but the Nexus/ Pixel phones get updates directly from Google. Unlike other Android phones you have to wait for your telco provider to process it first then decide when they want to release it with their spyware added in

    • At least they actually update their handsets in a timely fashion, more than can be said for Samsung and most others. Samsung might have longer support but their updates emerge at a glacially slow rate – sometimes dangerously so.

      It is a pretty shitty mentality though by comparison Apple’s iOS 11 only supports back to the iPhone 5S (2013) and Apple tend to have fairly prolonged support (outside of old devices slowing down as new stuff is piled on top).

  • Fml really? My Pixel is by far the best phone I’ve owned. No headphone jack on the Pixel 2 means I won’t be bothering with it. Google have done a great job at forcing me away

    • They came mighty close with losing me with the bump in price from the 6P, but when my 6P broke, I needed a phone in a hurry and, not wanting to deal with bloatware and slow updates, I went with the Pixel. I’ve now passed it on because I have a Samsung 8 for work and, ugh, the bloatware is as bad as I feared.

      I loved my Nexus 5. I wish I could have a lean Android phone like that, that lasts 3 or 4 years, for $500! Why is that not possible any more!?

  • Google confirmed to Gizmodo that the devices will no longer be made available to purchase directly from the company.
    So are they not making them any more or just not selling them directly any more, e.g. still going to be made but only sold through resellers?

      • Sorry I read this as it was the pixel line of phones, rather than they’re not making the old one any more.
        Though to my own defence I don’t see what the problem is.

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