All we’re lacking now is a Google hardware launch event
With Google I/O getting bumped off the calendar in 2020, the Mountain View company lost its natural launch event for some of the devices that we’d expected in early 2020.
Hope was then raised by the prospect of the Android 11 beta event, which was again, ditched, as Google decided it wasn’t the right time to be celebrating. Such has been the story of 2020.
But Google still has plans to launch devices in 2020 and there’s been a constant trickle of information, leading it to wonder where this elusive launch event has got to.
A new Pixel phone
One of the anticipated devices is the Pixel 4a. Designed as an affordable pure Google phone, this phone won a lot of accolades in 2019 and was reportedly Google’s best performing handset when it came to sales.
That’s likely due to combining a fantastic camera – free from the gimmicks that you find on other affordable devices – with a price that’s a long way from the flagship phones that manufacturers are always looking to push.
The rumours surrounding the Pixel 4a have run from around December 2019 and in June 2020 have finally hit the FCC – one of the US’ certification bodies – which usually means it’s ready for market.
A reinvention of Android TV
The second device that’s leaking – including from Google’s own code – is a device codenamed Sabrina. It’s a rethinking of the Chromecast Ultra, ushering in a new generation of Android TV devices – although some thing there’s going to be a wholesale rebranding of Android TV to Google TV.
We’ve seen leaked videos, we’ve seen the hardware referred to, and talk of how the remote will function – the rumours and leaks have been plentiful. Consider that Google’s Chromecast Ultra is 4 years old and you can see that it’s getting long in the tooth.
We’re expecting Google to reposition “Google TV”, using it as a chance to strengthen its position in the important streaming market, while developing it as a platform for Google Stadia too. The mountain of evidence for the next-gen TV device is begging for a launch event.
When will Google announce these devices?
So the missing part of the puzzle is when we’re actually going to see these devices. Rumours have suggested that the Pixel 4a is going to be available in July. We’ve had a 7 July shipping date and rumours of a 15 July event – which doesn’t add up, but suggests something will happen soon.
We’ve also see some price changes in Google hardware devices, with the Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Hub RRP dropping on the Google Store in the UK. This sometimes happens when a company wants to reposition older devices before new versions arrive and encourage sales of old stock.
What we’re waiting for is something from Google, that glimmer of a hardware launch event so that everything will fall into place. All the signs suggest that it’s going to happen soon – and with cancellations from Google over the recent months, we’d welcome a move to ramp up the excitement around the Google ecosystem soon.