When Google announced its foray into physical retail stores a few months ago, I said it was terrific news for the Pixel 6 series. You don’t launch retail stores solely to showcase your smart home devices. You need something more powerful than that to drive traffic. And the Pixel 5 experience doesn’t cut it. Google needs an actual flagship handset. It wasn’t long after that when Google confirmed the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The company also confirmed that they’ll be high-end devices. There’s now more evidence suggesting that Google is finally going to try to compete in the mobile business. A new report says Google is about to make a move unlike anything we’ve seen so far from the company. The Pixel 6 announcement event might take place one day before Apple’s iPhone 13 press conference.
Google unveiled the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in early August, ending speculation about the leaked designs and rumored processor. Google showed the new design and confirmed the main specs for both phones. That included the announcement of Google’s first-gen Tensor chipset for Pixel devices.
Pixel 6 launch event date leak
Google did not say how much the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will cost, hinting that they’ll be expensive. It also didn’t reveal when the smartphones will hit stores. We all assumed the Pixel 6 launch event will happen in October or early November, as has been the case in previous years. But Google might be working on a big surprise for fans.
A Weibo leaker claims the Pixel 6 series will be unveiled on September 13th, noting that Apple’s iPhone 13 launch will take place “early morning” on September 15th.
If accurate, these are local times in China, considering recent leaks. Apple is likely to unveil the iPhone 13 on September 14th. In such a case, the Pixel 6 launch event might be on September 12th. But that’s a Sunday, which seems highly unlikely.
Still, if Google were to unveil the Pixel 6 phone before the iPhone 13, this will tell the world that Google isn’t afraid of the competition. Google has always followed Apple’s iPhone closely while simultaneously criticizing its competitor. But Pixel sales have never taken off. It’s still a niche device that caters to a particular type of Android user.
The perfect storm
Apple rivals usually attempt to put as many days as possible between their product launches and Apple’s. That’s especially true for iPhone competitors. Samsung is the best example of that with the Note series. The device used to be a staple of IFA events in early September, but Samsung moved the launch closer to early August in order to avoid the iPhone.
On the other hand, the pandemic provides the perfect storm, a rare opportunity for Google’s Pixel 6 to challenge the iPhone 13. In non-pandemic years, all these product launches would involve in-person press conferences. They’d be announced well in advance so the media can deal with the travel logistics involved with covering the keynotes. Hosting an in-person Pixel 6 launch event so close to the iPhone 13 keynote would be impossible.
But all fall product releases will be virtual press events that stream online. That makes it a lot easier for everyone involved. And this would give Google a rare chance to go head-to-head with Apple in mid-September. This doesn’t mean the Pixel 6 would actually beat the iPhone 13 when it comes to sales. But it would certainly give Google plenty of free publicity. Even people who aren’t interested in Pixel devices would learn about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Then again, these are just rumors. We’ll have to wait for Apple and Google to announce their launch events. This might happen as soon as next week, at least for the new iPhone 13 series.