Google Has Cancelled the Pixel 5a, Multiple Reports Claim [Update: The Pixel 5a Is Still Alive]

Google Has Cancelled the Pixel 5a, Multiple Reports Claim [Update: The Pixel 5a Is Still Alive]
Photo: Sam Rutherford

Update: While rumours originally claimed another gadget had fallen victim to the global chip crunch, Google has now officially debunked previous reports that the Pixel 5a had been cancelled.

Google has now refuted previous reports and has provided an official statement to Gizmodo saying the “Pixel 5a 5G is not cancelled. It will be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.”

The original story appears below:

Earlier this week Google announced that its annual developers’ conference, Google I/O, would take place starting on May 18, which immediately caused people to start speculating if that meant Google would release a new mid-range Pixel sometime this spring. In 2019, Google announced the Pixel 3a in May at Google I/O, and while the pandemic caused Google to cancel Google I/O 2020, the Pixel 4a was eventually released later in August 2020.

However, according to a tweet from noted leaker Jon Prosser and multiple sources who spoke to Android Central, it seems the ongoing global shortage of chips and processors had caused Google to consider cancelling the Pixel 5a’s release entirely, reports that have now been debunked by Google.

Silicon used to make things like automotive chips, game consoles, GPUs, and other processors have been in short supply since late last year. This has recently become a major hindrance for some of the world’s biggest smartphone makers including Xiaomi and Samsung, with Samsung saying the lack of mobile processors may force the company to forgo making a new Galaxy Note phone for 2021.

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Had Google been forced to cancel the Pixel 5a, that would have been a big blow to budget-conscious phone buyers as the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4a were easily some of the best budget/mid-range phones released in recent memory, combining excellent image quality with good battery life and a simple design.

That said, the wording in Google’s comment suggests that the Pixel 5a’s release will not happen this spring like many people had previously predicted, but sometime later this summer in July or August, which would line up better with the August 3 announce date for last year’s Pixel 4a.

Update 3:45 a.m. AEST: Updated the story with an official statement from Google saying the Pixel 5a 5G has not been cancelled and that it will be released later this year.