In a bit of a surprising turn, Google has officially canned the Pixel 3a, stating to Android Police that, “The Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 3a. For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 3a, the product is available from some partners while supplies last.” Yep. That’s it for the now year-old phone from Google that has by far been its best-selling handset yet.
I’m sure you can hear me sighing through the screen right now as my confusion and disappointment at this announcement is palpable. Considering all Google has done in the smartphone space is bascially fail left and right, I’m extremely stunned that they are so abruptly deciding to stop all production of their most popular phone. In a year where Google’s phone sales outpaced OnePlus thanks in large part to the Pixel 3a/3aXL, it’s almost comical that they would simply stop production on this phone already.
Yet, here we are. Assuming the 4a comes out soon (we still aren’t sure on that as rumors place it anywhere from July to October for release), I still don’t fully understand halting production on the 3a. Why not make them for a bit longer, continue selling them via wireless carriers for nice discounts, and offer not only a new mid-range device in the Pixel 4a, but a very competitively-priced one in the aging Pixel 3a right alongside it? Imagine how many people would scoop up the 3a/3aXL at $249, extending the Pixel brand to not-yet-reached consumers.
Where is the Pixel 4a?
Meanwhile, the long-rumored Pixel 4a is still nowhere to be seen and has leaked everywhere for months at this point. We’ve seen retail packaging, hands-on videos, and we know pricing and stats already, too. We’ve even heard that Google is holding out on launching based on market conditions, not device availability.
With all that being considered, it makes very little sense for Google to publicly announce the end of the popular Pixel 3a’s production without knowing that the Pixel 4a will be available quite soon. Some are speculating that next week’s ‘Hey Google’ event may be an announcement platform for the new handset, but I feel like that is wishful thinking. That event will be geared towards Google’s home-based products, not mobile ones, so we’re not expecting a launch at that event.
So, when will it roll out, then? My gut tells me we’ll see the Pixel 4a arrive in the next couple weeks, one way or another. At this point, a quick product video and press release would be plenty to get the word out as we’ve all been talking about this phone for far too long at this point. While I can’t know Google’s motivation for holding back on the launch up until now, we can infer that their decision to actually announce the end of Pixel 3a production means they are finally ready to release the 4a to the world. It just wouldn’t make any sense otherwise. While I don’t agree with ditching the Pixel 3a at this stage, I really can’t see Google being so short sighted that they didn’t have Pixel 4a launch plans on the map before telling the world that the 3a is winding down. But this is Google, after all, so anything is possible I suppose.