A few days ago, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro passed through the FCC. This isn’t unexpected or that noteworthy at this point as Google has already shown off both phones back in May at I/O 2022. For electronics to be marketed and sold in the US with radios and wireless connectivity, they have to pass through the FCC at some point, and with both of these phones already being known entities, there’s little new to glean from these FCC filings. But there are some notable absences at this point.
What we learned from the FCC filings for Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
Before we talk about what was missing, let’s quickly cover what was found. In total, 4 listings passed through the FCC with a total of 6 models present. This covers both the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro in sub-6 5G and mmWave variants and makes room for a couple variants of both phones for the Japanese market like we saw out of the gate with the Pixel 6. There’s also mention of ultra-wide band support for the Pixel 7 Pro, but not for the Pixel 7, again mimicking what Google did with the Pixel 6 a year ago.
Something is missing
With the recent rumors around the unannounced/rumored Pixel 7 Ultra and the hope that perhaps the folding Pixel Notepad might show up at the yet-unannounced fall hardware event, the lack of those devices in the FCC filings is notable. There’s still plenty of time for Google to get around to FCC filings for both the Pixel 7 Ultra and Pixel Notepad if they actually exist and are planned releases, and there could be a good reason why these FCC filings don’t include either phone.
Generally speaking, Google has held FCC filings as long as possible for their new hardware. While these filings don’t give everything away, they do confirm devices in a concrete way that rumors can’t quite achieve. With that in mind, most companies like Google don’t want to out their new products far ahead of the actual announcements, and because of this, Google has kept the FCC filing dates quite close to product launches in the past.
With the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, there’s no need for this level of guile. Instead, Google knows that we all know the new Pixel phones are on the way, so why not get the FCC filing out of the way well before the event takes place? It makes good sense and is exactly what we’re seeing with the filings discussed above.
For the Pixel 7 Ultra and Pixel Notepad, however, Google is clearly still keeping things under wraps. If we assume these phones are still on the way, we also have to assume Google is trying their best to keep the veil tightly shut on them and keep us all guessing whether or not they will actually show up in October at the event. And if Google is trying to keep things quiet on those fronts, passing both devices through the FCC well before they are made official would derail those efforts. Google clearly wouldn’t want that to happen.
So, even though the two mystery Pixel phones aren’t in this round of FCC filings, there’s still plenty of hope and reasons to believe they could still materialize in 2022. While I still feel like it’s a long shot that we see either device, I do feel that Google needs to launch them very close to the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro if they don’t want to risk alienating potential buyers.
If they release the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro and show off the Ultra or Notepad with a “coming later this year” tag attached, I fear it could disparage the Pixel 7 series sales numbers out of the gate. Like Samsung and Apple do, Google needs to at least put the Ultra out there right alongside the 7 and 7 Pro to give consumers the options they are looking for. Again, that is assuming the Pixel 7 Ultra even exists in the first place. One way or another, new Pixels are coming, and coming soon. We’re excited to see what October holds.