Hardware releases in 2020 have obviously been pretty strange affairs across the board. From virtual events to outright cancelled ones, the standard vehicle of getting people together to launch new stuff is clearly out of sorts amid a global pandemic, and it feels like no one has been more affected by this than Google’s hardware team. While we’re loving the early reviews and very positive feedback being given to the just-released Pixel 4a, that phone was meant to hit the market in May: a full 3 months ago. In the world of ever-evolving tech releases, that’s a huge delay.
Don’t get me wrong. Hardware is still being announced and launched on a global scale. After all, Samsung had a nearly 2-hour event to debut the new Note phones, new earbuds, a new Galaxy Tab S7, and the highly-anticipated Galaxy Z Fold 2. Nearly all of those items are shipping within the next few weeks and the Z Fold 2 will likely get its full release date on September 1st when Samsung looks to share more info about it and its availability.
Comparitively, Google is struggling to get things out the door. The delay on the Pixel 4a is odd, given that Google also teased the Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5 at the same time, saying the two new phones would come out this fall. The problem? This fall is almost here already. In just over a month, fall technically begins and before you know it, we’re knocking on Q4 already. This is clearly not the path Google wanted to be on with their phones this year, but here we are.
Add to this the fact that Google has had a new Chromecast/Android TV dongle ready to roll for quite a bit along with this new Nest Home speaker and you begin to wonder exactly what they are waiting for at this point. We even began supposing they may just hold all of it for their yearly hardware event in October, but even that isn’t a certainty this year.
Thankfully, leak culture is alive and well and Twitter leaker Roland Quandt has it on good authority that the new Nest Home speaker we know all about by this point should land in late August: just a couple weeks from now.
There’s a new Google Home launching soon codenamed “J2” and it’s supposedly going to cost about 100 Euros. Available from the end of August, retail says.— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) August 5, 2020
From what I’ve seen, Roland is a very credible leaker and rarely misses on things he chooses to share out to social media. With the fact that this speaker has already cleared FCC and been teased in an official way by Google, it’s felt overdue for a bit already at this point. After all, those leaks came over a month ago now, so late August would put us nearly two months out from the original news about this new speaker. Simply put, it’s time to get this hardware out the door.
I’m glad it is coming and I’m hopeful that some reviewers (us included) get their hands on a unit early so that the roll out can mimic what Google did with the Pixel 4a release. In the world of cancelled events and virtual presentations, I think Google’s decision to simply get the Pixel 4a into reviewers’ hands and let them spread the word is the right way to go about these things. It was coordinated and is clearly working. Hopefully we’ll hear more about this new Nest Home speaker very soon and, perhaps along with it, a bit of news on the hotly-anticipated new Chromecast that frankly sounds pretty amazing.