Google's most recent flagship phones are the Google Pixel 7 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but a leaked roadmap gives us an idea of the tech giant's Pixel plans for the next few years – all the way up to 2025. We're going to be seeing foldable phones, spec upgrades, and plenty more besides, it seems.
This intriguing look into the future comes courtesy of Android Authority, though bear in mind that this is in no way official, and it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Google will change its plans even if this report is currently accurate. Even the source itself says that the roadmap isn't set in stone.
With those caveats out of the way, we can dive in. Around Google IO 2023 time in April or May we are apparently getting the Google Pixel Fold (priced at $1,799, which is roughly £1,495 or AU$2,675) and the Google Pixel 7a (apparently price matched to this year's Google Pixel 6a at $449 / £399 / AU$749).
Up to 2025
Further out we'll have the Google Pixel 8 and the Google Pixel 8 Pro later in 2023. This roadmap suggests the Pixel 8 will be smaller than its direct predecessor, though the Pro model is said to match the Google Pixel 7 Pro in terms of dimensions and display size. Both phones are reportedly going to be powered by the Tensor G3.
The year 2024 will apparently bring three Pixel 9 models running the Tensor G4, with two Pro editions: the existing 6.7-inch size and a new 6.3-inch size (to more closely match the Apple iPhone series). However, the launch of the Google Pixel 8a is dependent on Pixel 7a sales – Google might switch to a two-year cycle for the mid-range handset.
That takes us all the way to 2025, and here the planning is more fluid – a lot depends on how sales of the 2023 and 2024 phones go. Google might launch a clamshell foldable to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip series, the report says, it might expand the Pixel 10 range to four phones, and it might launch a Google Pixel Fold 2.
Analysis: following Apple and Samsung
As Android Authority also points out while reporting on its scoop, Google is clearly looking to follow the lead set by Apple and Samsung – the two phone makers that dominate sales in the US. By 2025 Google could have two foldables (like Samsung) and four flagship phone models (like Apple).
Switching the Pixel A series phones to a launch every other year would match Apple as well – it's what's been happening with the iPhone SE. When power and performance aren't quite so important, upgrades aren't quite as urgent, and changing the cycle might help Google in sticking to a fixed price point on these phones.
What remains to be seen is whether or not ramping up its Pixel efforts leads to more hardware sales for Google. It's been working hard to build out its ecosystem of devices – we've had the Pixel Watch launch this year, and next year we're getting the Pixel Tablet, giving consumers more pieces of hardware that work seamlessly together.
Meanwhile the main selling points of the Pixel phones have remained the same for years: excellent photos and videos, and a clean and constantly updated version of Android. However, in the US at least, Google still needs to do something about people's dependence on iMessage to get substantial numbers of users to switch.