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Google explains why it didn’t release a 5G version of the Pixel 4

Published Oct 17th, 2019 3:55PM EDT
Pixel 4 Specs

In the build-up to Google’s Pixel 4 unveiling earlier this week, there were a few rumors circulating claiming that we might see Google introduce a 5G version of its next-gen smartphone. The rumor itself was particularly plausible, especially in light of the fact that we’ve already seen 5G devices from the likes of Samsung and LG hit the market this year.

But as it turned out, Google’s event came and went without a mention of a 5G version of its Pixel 4 smartphone. Truth be told, it’s not that big of a deal given that the rollout of 5G is still in its infancy, which is to say that if you pay a premium for a 5G device, there’s a good chance you’re paying extra for a feature you can’t fully take advantage of just yet.

Addressing the lack of 5G support on the company’s next-gen Pixel, Google VP of product management Brian Rakowski told PCMag that it’s still too early for the company to embrace 5G.

“It will get there,” Rakowski said, “but now is not the right time to buy a 5G phone. Both from a deployment perspective—the coverage is not broadly available in enough places for enough users to benefit from it—[and] from a hardware and phone perspective—it’s still power hungry [and] immature.

“There’s work to be done there,” Rakowski added. “We’re tracking it closely and we’ll bring a phone out when we feel like it’s a good time for users, but now’s not the time.”

Rakowski’s explanation makes perfect sense, and mirrors Apple’s own decision to wait until 2020 before introducing a 5G version of the iPhone.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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