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Google’s new ad makes fun of Apple, but also its own upcoming Pixel 6

Published Aug 30th, 2021 7:47PM EDT
Pixel 6 Headphone
Image: Google

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Google confirmed its renewed interest in its smartphone hardware a few weeks ago by unveiling a bold Pixel 6 series. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will probably make any shortlist of new Android handsets to buy this year. They feature high-end design and specs and a custom Google processor. Better said, they’re finally getting closer to the iPhone alternative that diehard Android enthusiasts have always wanted from Google. But Google has just released a commercial to mock something that also won’t appear on the Pixel 6: The headphone jack.

Pixel 6 has no headphone jack

Apple wasn’t the first company to kill the headphone jack, but it saw huge backlash in 2016 when it did. The iPhone 7 did not feature a headphone jack, as Apple paved the way for all-screen iPhones.

Everyone in the business, including the Apple critics, copied this decision. Even Google, who was rather quick to eliminate the headphone jack from its flagship Pixels. Samsung had to do it too, after years of mocking the iPhone for not having a 3.5mm port.

One after one, Apple’s rivals ditched the jack and launched their wireless earphones that compete against the AirPods. The first-gen AirPods became a hit product with iPhone buyers. Apple offered iPhone 7 buyers three “fixes” for the absent 3.5mm port. A dongle and support for sound over Lightning came free with the handset. AirPods were a separate purchase.

Fast-forward to 2021, and the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will not have a headphone jack. That’s absolutely fine and in line with the entire industry. Not to mention that Google has its own Pixel Buds alternative.

Google’s strange headphone jack commercial

All that is to say that Google’s new Pixel 5a commercial is bizarre. The ad makes a very big deal about the 3.5mm headphone jack as if that’s the feature everyone wants on their phones. Moreover, the person talking does so in a British accent. That’s an apparent nod to Apple’s iconic Jony Ive promos from yesteryear.

If it’s not clear that it’s an anti-Apple ad, just wait until the Ive-wannabe says “aluminum” at the end of the clip, which has nothing to do with the rest of the ad.

But the issue with promoting the headphone jack to such an extent is that Google is practically mocking the Pixel 6. The only ad that’s more hypocritical than Google is Samsung’s ad mocking the iPhone’s headphone jack. The ad that Samsung had to pull from everywhere when it started removing the port from its flagship phones.

Sure, some people might appreciate the headphone jack, but that’s not the main reason to buy a 2021 phone. Especially since the Pixel 5a is practically a repackaged Pixel 4a/5 contraption.

But Google will surely prefer buyers to buy the headphone-jack-less Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro coming this fall rather than the cheaper Pixel 5a. And maybe toss in extra cash for some Pixel Buds.

The good thing in all of this is that Google is definitely ready to spend more money on Pixel marketing. The Pixel 5a is only hitting the US and Japan, and Google put out this massive ad. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the more exciting Pixel 6. Maybe the British-accent-person will narrate the ad explaining why there’s no perfect circle in the Pixel 6 phones.

Google’s Pixel 5a headphone jack ad follows below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.