One of the internet’s more-accurate leakers – Jon Prosser – has taken to Twitter to deliver some slightly-saddening news: Google I/O 2022 will play host to the unveiling of the Pixel 6a (no surprise, there) and the Pixel Watch (also no real surprise), with the Pixel Watch reveal being more of a tease. The release date for the watch, according to Prosser, will be slated for later in the year. He even goes as far to say that it will likely coincide with the launch of the Pixel 7. In October. Oof.
To be completely fair, Google has never officially recognized the Pixel Watch as an actual thing and they clearly have never given anyone a hint at the release date. That being said, in Google fashion, the Pixel Watch has leaked in nearly every possible way, so that means we’ve all seen it, we know it exists, and we know that the development is pretty far along.
With the Pixel 6a seemingly being pushed back to July 28th (according to Prosser’s tweet), there’s a chance this all comes down to issue with chip shortages. If the Pixel Watch will be running some form of Tensor SoC, there’s a good chance that Google is having issues getting enough chips fabricated in a short timeframe.
I’d assume Google knows the demand for this watch will be high, and showing up with only a handful of actual products to ship would be just as frustrating as pushing back the launch. My only concern now is the fact that this now puts the Pixel Watch on a timeline where the hardware could be a bit outdated upon launch. We don’t know what processor is inside this thing, but if it’s anything like we see in the phone space, delivering a device with 1-2 year old silicon is never a good look.
Hopefully that isn’t the case and maybe Google had this sort of timeframe in mind from the get-go. The Pixel Watch is clearly a device many Android users are waiting for – including myself. If this leak is on-point and we won’t actually see the launch of the Pixel Watch until October, Google needs to make absolutely sure they stick the landing. That’s a big ask with 1st-gen hardware (hello, Pixel 6 and the first Tensor SoC), but pushing back the launch of a highly-anticipated device only works if it is so good that it makes it all worth the wait.
It’s a bit tough to know if that will be the case with the Pixel Watch, but I’m rooting for it for sure. I’ve tried a few smart watches and still haven’t landed on something I am totally sold on. The Fitbit lineup is fine for my needs and WearOS is still in a spot that is fine, but it’s a spot I don’t really love. I’m hopeful that Google can show up with their unique take on the wrist-bound wearable and do what they do: make an awesome UI/UX for their customers. If they can and the hardware is solid, I’m still betting the Pixel Watch will be a big hit. And who knows: maybe we’ll see some new (and actually good) Pixel Buds along for the ride in October.