Google rebuts Pixel 5a rumors, following speculation of cancellation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 9
Prolific leaker Jon Prosser claimed that the Google Pixel 5a was cancelled -- and in response, Google is saying that the phone is, in fact, coming later in 2021.

The Google Pixel 5a will be sold in the US and Japan later in 2021
The Google Pixel 5a will be sold in the US and Japan later in 2021


The Google Pixel lineup is known for its vanilla Android experience and powerful camera features. The Pixel 5a was going to be a replacement for the Pixel 4a as a cheaper entry model.

Prosser previously leaked it would be revealed during the Google I/O conference and release in June. However, Friday's report alleges that the device has now been canceled entirely.

Bad news.

"Barbet" (Pixel 5A) has been canceled.

I'm told it's due to the chip shortage, and as of this morning, it's not moving forward.

Pixel 4A and 4A 5G will continue to be sold throughout 2021.

-- Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser)


The ongoing chip shortage has affected multiple companies, including Apple as of late. One report says Apple's Mac and iPad lineups will be affected as well. This shortage could last well into 2022.

Google differs, however. Like it has done in the past, it has rebutted the rumors with a statement saying that it was still coming.

"Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled," Google has said in a statement to AppleInsider and other venues. "It will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan and announced in line with when last year's a-series phone was introduced."

The Pixel 5a is a replacement for the Pixel 4a 5G with a similar design and feature set. The purpose of the "a" models is to offer a cheaper entry device with some flagship features.

The Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G will continue to be sold throughout 2021, according to Prosser. The Pixel lineup provides users the most "pure" Android experience, and users may migrate to other Android options or the iPhone 12.

Update 1:32 PM Eastern time: Added Google's statement on the matter.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,498member
    For the record if I had to go with an Android phone (say an asteroid lands on Cupertino or something) the Pixel line would be one of the very few I’d consider. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,105administrator
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    Too early to tell one way or another.

    All of Apple's suppliers are generically complaining about chip shortages, though. Apple has loads of money, so is likely to be at the top of the supply list.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    thttht Posts: 3,931member
    Prosser seems a lot more miss than hit these days. His days regarded as a "reliable" leaker or rumormongor looks to be over and should be ignored.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,103member
    Since Apple gets favor I hope the iKnockoff companies get HIT HARD. Would love to see several iPhoneys get cancelled.

    Maybe the Pixel was gonna get cancelled and then Google forked over money to get priority.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,234member
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    Too early to tell one way or another.

    All of Apple's suppliers are generically complaining about chip shortages, though. Apple has loads of money, so is likely to be at the top of the supply list.
    Ford and GM also have loads of money and they’re having to cut production.

    GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales” - foxbusiness.com
  • Reply 7 of 14
    roakeroake Posts: 737member
    DAalseth said:
    For the record if I had to go with an Android phone (say an asteroid lands on Cupertino or something) the Pixel line would be one of the very few I’d consider. 
    Then Google would track 100% of your life instead of just most of it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,105administrator
    hentaiboy said:
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    Too early to tell one way or another.

    All of Apple's suppliers are generically complaining about chip shortages, though. Apple has loads of money, so is likely to be at the top of the supply list.
    Ford and GM also have loads of money and they’re having to cut production.

    ”GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales” - foxbusiness.com
    Right. Thus, "too early to tell."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 27member, moderator, editor
    tht said:
    Prosser seems a lot more miss than hit these days. His days regarded as a "reliable" leaker or rumormongor looks to be over and should be ignored.
    Prosser is an interesting character. This is a notable miss because Android leaks seem to be more like rivers of information and are rarely wrong. He is one of the few vocal leakers still out front with new data, though we tend to be very selective of his content.

    I would assume that Prosser's leak came from a source outside of the US or Japan supply chain and mistook the limited availability for outright cancelation. Leaking is a complicated business and no one is right 100% of the time. He's still accurate often and recent enough that he is someone worth paying attention to, albeit with a lot of skepticism.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14
    thttht Posts: 3,931member
    tht said:
    Prosser seems a lot more miss than hit these days. His days regarded as a "reliable" leaker or rumormongor looks to be over and should be ignored.
    Prosser is an interesting character. This is a notable miss because Android leaks seem to be more like rivers of information and are rarely wrong. He is one of the few vocal leakers still out front with new data, though we tend to be very selective of his content.

    I would assume that Prosser's leak came from a source outside of the US or Japan supply chain and mistook the limited availability for outright cancelation. Leaking is a complicated business and no one is right 100% of the time. He's still accurate often and recent enough that he is someone worth paying attention to, albeit with a lot of skepticism.
    To me, he seems like a 1 hit wonder. He got spring of 2020 right. After that, his hit rate has been terrible imo. This Spring, a lot of people got it wrong, including him. I presume this means his good source of leaks has been burned and therefore his hit rate is no better than educated guessing (based off supply chain rumor bits) these days.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 968member
    I think this does bring up the concept of Pixel phones being “a dead man walking” syndrome.  Google has evolved over the last decade from being a cutting edge “moon-walk” technology company to a professionally run Wall Street Company focusing on continued growth and profit.  Because of this, they are now focusing on their core profit centers of advertising, video delivery and search.  The most obvious manifestation is the amount of ads on YouTube and it’s dominance in online video.

    I wonder if Alphabet has regrets about Android, it’s upgrade and maintenance expense for the benefit of others, the cost it spends to Apple to maintain its Google search engine after their betrayal etc etc.

    Smart phone manufacturing going forward is going to acquire scale and this is going to require a lot of investment to compete with an Apple-TSMC behemoth.

    Samsung and the Chinese companies will be able to pull it off but a company that makes single digit million production runs?  I don’t think so.  And I think Alphabet’s money managers are debating the future of Android.
    edited April 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 14
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,917member
    hentaiboy said:
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    Too early to tell one way or another.

    All of Apple's suppliers are generically complaining about chip shortages, though. Apple has loads of money, so is likely to be at the top of the supply list.
    Ford and GM also have loads of money and they’re having to cut production.

    ”GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales” - foxbusiness.com
    Yes and no. Ford and GM are huge corporations with considerable resources, but almost no one has money like Apple has money right now. 
    Ford’s EBIT for 2020: $2.8 Billion
    Apple’s EBIT for 2020: $74.2 Billion

    These numbers are simply not comparable. One is enormous, the other is mind boggling. 
    If having almost limitless resources to throw at suppliers could solve the shortage problem, Apple is in a class by itself...


    chiawatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 14
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    bageljoey said:
    hentaiboy said:
    Is this going to affect the release date of the iPhone 13 models? 
    Too early to tell one way or another.

    All of Apple's suppliers are generically complaining about chip shortages, though. Apple has loads of money, so is likely to be at the top of the supply list.
    Ford and GM also have loads of money and they’re having to cut production.

    ”GM expects the chip shortage to cost it up to $2 billion in pretax profits this year from lost production and sales” - foxbusiness.com
    Yes and no. Ford and GM are huge corporations with considerable resources, but almost no one has money like Apple has money right now. 
    Ford’s EBIT for 2020: $2.8 Billion
    Apple’s EBIT for 2020: $74.2 Billion

    These numbers are simply not comparable. One is enormous, the other is mind boggling. 
    If having almost limitless resources to throw at suppliers could solve the shortage problem, Apple is in a class by itself...


    FWIW the company that develops and sells Pixel phones has even more free cash than Apple last I knew. The resources are there to develop more hardware if that's their choice. 
    edited April 10
  • Reply 14 of 14
    thttht Posts: 3,931member
    badmonk said:
    I think this does bring up the concept of Pixel phones being “a dead man walking” syndrome.  Google has evolved over the last decade from being a cutting edge “moon-walk” technology company to a professionally run Wall Street Company focusing on continued growth and profit.  Because of this, they are now focusing on their core profit centers of advertising, video delivery and search.  The most obvious manifestation is the amount of ads on YouTube and it’s dominance in online video.

    I wonder if Alphabet has regrets about Android, it’s upgrade and maintenance expense for the benefit of others, the cost it spends to Apple to maintain its Google search engine after their betrayal etc etc.

    Smart phone manufacturing going forward is going to acquire scale and this is going to require a lot of investment to compete with an Apple-TSMC behemoth.

    Samsung and the Chinese companies will be able to pull it off but a company that makes single digit million production runs?  I don’t think so.  And I think Alphabet’s money managers are debating the future of Android.
    They may regret their "Alphabet" conglomeration, but there is zero regret for their dominance with Android. Think of the alternative. It could be some other company that owns the market for licensed smartphone OSes. The worst case scenario for them would have been if MS won the not-Apple smartphone OS market. Unlike being able to pay Apple to have search as default on iOS, MS would have been happy to use their search engine, and it would have had potential to crack Google's dominance with search.

    It would have been interesting if Nokia pulled it off with Symbian being the winner of the not-Apple smartphone OS competition. It may have meant more viable entrants, and perhaps more variation in OSes and phones, but alas no.

    Smartphones are hyper mature devices. For the vast bulk of the market, companies are working with very small margins on their $300 devices. For most everything, it's going to be who gets the best manufacturing contracts for highly commoditized parts combined with who gets the best point of sales contracts with carriers to actually sell phones. Google sucks at both and they didn't, don't, appear to have the will to get better.

    For companies who want to compete in the premium $1000 phone niches using bleeding parts, well, not sure what an unknown company can do, short of the 5 year lead on some critical feature not in current smartphones. It looks like Google maybe giving up on the high priced phone part, and have finally come down to the conclusion that a hyper vanilla phone for $300 with their software is probably the best bet. However, you aren't making much money at that price point. And they never seemed to be able to make the proper retail push, and without that, nobody is going to be successful. Then again, they don't have a direct digital goods sales market to sell cheap hardware, like eBooks or games, so there really isn't anything to get people to buy a Google phone.

    They have the cash to use Pixel devices as a kind branding exercise, like MS Surface, but they don't seem committed to it at all. I guess the reputation precedes them. They aren't committed to anything save for their core search and ad products.
    watto_cobra
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