Google’s Pixel A Series Faces the Chopping Block; Big Mistake?

In Short
  • The way recent leaks have unfolded in the Pixels category, we think we are heading toward the A series' demise.
  • One of the reasons for that could be due to the decreasing specs and price gap compared to the vanilla Pixel.
  • Google increasing the number of Pixel 9 models might reduce the price of the regular Pixel, leaving no room for A series' existence.

The latest Pixels are cool, but people often seem to forget that the initial A series devices essentially funded and motivated Google to keep making phones. After the immense success of the Pixel 3a, the Pixel 4 flopped badly, and the Pixel 4a sales revived the brand and put Google back on track. When you look at the recent A series devices, they’ve sold better than the standard and Pro Pixel devices.

However, the direction in which the recent Pixel 8a renders and the upcoming Pixel 9 series leaks point toward something that we are sure Pixel aficionados might not be able to digest. Yes, I think Google might be looking to kill the A series of Pixel devices. Here’s why it feels imminent, and why I believe it would be a mistake.

Is Pixel 9 Digging the A-Series’ Grave?

Around a month ago, we saw leaked renders of what’s supposedly the Pixel 9. But as we guessed in our article, they were later found to belong to the Pixel 9 Pro and Pixel 9 Pro XL. This implies that the Pixel 9 series may consist of three devices with Google, bringing back the XL monicker.

Five features I want from Pixel 9
Image Courtesy: OnLeaks (Edited by Abubakar/Beebom)

But how does it affect the A series? A recent Pixel 8a leak suggests a significant price hike that could make it the most expensive A series phone yet. This could pose a threat to the Pixel 8’s sales, especially considering their seemingly close device specifications. The Pixel 8 launched at $699 and is currently selling at $599.

This price creep, almost $550 for Pixel 8a, combined with Google expanding their standard Pixel lineup, suggests a future where standard Pixel and A series devices might overlap in both pricing and specs. This potential overlap could prompt Google to eventually discontinue the A series.

Furthermore, Google would like to avoid the possibility of budget A series devices eating away at the sales of their standard and Pro Pixel models due to the diminishing gap in specifications.

That is not to say that the Pixel A series is dying soon. While a Pixel 9a isn’t out of the question, as pointed out by well-known tipster OnLeaks, the narrowing gap in specifications and pricing might lead Google to phase out the A series in the long run. Since a major spec reduction for the A series seems unlikely, it makes the future of this lineup uncertain.

Reduction in Pixel 9’s Price?

Not everything’s bad news here. Pixels are among the worst in retaining their market value due to repeated price drops from Google. Combined with the steep price increase on the 8 series last year and due to the expanding lineup, Google might try to adjust the pricing of the vanilla Pixel to make other models appealing.

It’s not given that this will happen, but I feel like the chances are pretty high. Again, this is purely speculation and might not happen.

Why the Pixel A Series Deserves a Fighting Chance?

Google’s Pixel phones (until the Pixel 7) were historically known for being budget-friendly and offering excellent value. This perception shifted with the launch of the Pixel 8 and its $100 price jump. However, the A series has maintained the reputation of affordability and Google could still capitalize heavily off of the same.

Image Courtesy: Google

But what do they do if they cannot boil down the specifications and pricing?” That’s a good question, and honestly, there’s not much they can do other than keep the price floating around $500.

And focusing on its strengths – exceptional cameras and clean software, the very features that have driven A series sales in previous years.

The A series’ success puts Google in a tough spot. Increasing their specifications to boost sales risks cannibalizing the standard Pixel sales. The price and spec increments could ultimately threaten the A series’ affordability advantage. Google needs a strategic approach if it intends to maintain both lineups.

I have a dream! Perhaps Google should consider bringing back the good ‘ol Google Play edition devices in partnership with other manufacturers. The chances of this happening are slim but give us four solid years of major updates, feature drops, and decent cameras at an affordable price, and Google might sell tons of devices and revive Play Edition phones.

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