The leaks are continuing to flow in about Google’s upcoming mid-range phone, the Pixel 4a. We’ve previously reported that according to some leaked billboards, the new Pixel 4a would have the same starting price as last year’s 3a, which was an affordable $399. But now it seems the Pixel 4a will have a starting price of $349 for a 128BG model, according to a source close to Stephan Hall from 9to5Google.
That reduced starting price is $50 cheaper than the entry-level Pixel 3a and doubles the storage, so you might be wondering why Google is taking such an aggressive approach to the Pixel 4a. I think it might have something to do with the launch of the new iPhone SE, which has a starting price of $399 for a model with 64GB of storage. Is Google trying to undercut the iPhone SE? I am not sure, but that could definitely be the motive if this leak is to be believed.
It is admittedly odd to hear about a price change this late in the game, especially after we have already seen the retail packing, a potential launch date of June 3rd, and even a screenshot from Rick Osterloh that was likely captured on a Pixel 4a. I totally understand that device launches have probably been adjusted due to the pandemic, but I think it is safe to assume that this potential price adjustment could be a reaction to the launch of the iPhone SE.
Additionally, I think it is important to note that Stephen’s source said the $349 starting price will include 128GB of storage. The Pixel 3a was only offered in a 64BG configuration regardless of whether you went with the 3a or 3a XL. Now that Google is apparently not going to offer an XL version of the Pixel 4a (or even the Pixel 5, for that matter), it would make sense that they have some additional room in the budget to increase the storage capacity of the base model. I am not one who needs a lot of phone storage, but it would be nice to have a 256GB option. Apple decided to go with three storage options – a 64GB for $399, 128GB for $449, or 256GB for $549. Perhaps Google is trying to simplify the SKUs and keep their production streamlined. Or maybe they are trying to focus on the basics, instead of gimmicks like Motion Sense that we saw on the Pixel 4.
We will have to wait and see how Google positions the Pixel 4a when it is officially revealed hopefully in early June. But I can say this: the rumored starting price and added storage could be attractive to many potential buyers and I think Google could sell a lot of these phones.