Over the weekend there were reports that the Pixel 5a had been cancelled due to global chip shortages. It’s not true, but it’s still bad news for Australians.
Sorry Australia, the Google Pixel 5a ain’t coming
Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like the Pixel 5a will actually be released here. According to a statement Google gave the Gizmodo US team, the Pixel 5a will only be released in two markets.
“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,” Google said in a statement to Gizmodo.
The worldwide chip shortage is nothing new. It has been hitting multiple industries across the world, from PCs to cars and phones. And chipmakers like Qualcomm, AMD, and Sony already warned about the impact this would have throughout 2021.
Still, it’s a shame.
The Pixel changed the mid-range market and that matters
Google’s mid-range series has always held a special place in my heart. I’ve said this many times over the last two years, but the Google Pixel 3a completely transformed the mid-range phone market.
It redefined what consumers should expect from a $650 phone, putting high end specs and a killer camera into the device. It upped the ante again with the Google Pixel 4a and 4a 5G and it according to leaks and rumours, the Pixel 5a was also set to be pretty great.
This included speculation about a Snapdragon 750G processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage again, as well as a 60Hz refresh rate. On the camera side there were reports of a 12.2MP primary lens and a 16MP ultra-wide.
While I’m glad it will still find a home on other continents, I’m sad about the dent it will leave in the Australian mid-range market in 2021. But it’s at least not as bad as it could have been.
But fortunately other manufacturers caught up
It took a couple of years for other manufacturers to catch up, but 2020 and early 2021 saw Apple and Samsung finally come to the mid-range party in a big way.
We’re not sure if it’s because they knew they had to compete with Google, or because during COVID-19 customers were in need of affordable quality tech. Either way it has been a boon to both companies, as well as their customers.
And just last week Samsung released its new suite of A series devices. While the series isn’t new for Samsung, this is the first time that it has pumped such high specs into these mid-range phones. It has made them genuinely compelling in a way that has me immensely curious.
So while it’s deeply unfortunate that we probably won’t see the Pixel 5a in Australia, at least the hole it leaves isn’t as big as it would have been a couple of years ago.
In the meantime, I’ll be desperately hoping it might release here eventually.