A Bloomberg report claims that Foxconn will make Google’s next generation Pixel handsets. And that the XL version will have a notch.
A moment of silence for our terrible industry, please.
As I’ve noted in the past, the Pixel is a lie. That is, Google advertises its Pixel lineup as a family of devices that it makes. Previously, Google partnered with device makers to make Nexus-branded handsets. But in reality, each Pixel handset has been made by a device maker, just as was the case with Nexus. The only difference is that Google has had a bigger hand in the design.
That may be changing, finally, to the point where reality will finally align with Google’s marketing.
Last September, on the eve of the Pixel 2 launch, Google announced that it would acquire about 2,000 employees from the struggling handset maker HTC. That acquisition was completed in January, and Google said that the employees would now work in-house on future Pixel devices.
For the next-generation Pixel 3 handset lineup, Google is for the first time not turning to a handset maker for manufacturing. Instead, Bloomberg says, Google will utilize Foxconn, the China-based manufacturing giant that also makes iPhones and virtually every other consumer electronics device you’ve ever heard of.
The bigger news, at least to the wider world, is that the Pixel 3 XL, the larger of the two coming Google handsets, will feature a notch, in keeping with most 2018-era smartphone flagships. The Pixel 3 XL will also feature a nearly edge-to-edge display with minimal bezels, except at the bottom. Oddly, it will also continue to utilize a single rear camera lens, while all of the competition has long since moved to multiple lenses.
The smaller Pixel 3 will be lame looking like the Pixel 2 and will feature a more traditional smartphone look, with pronounced “forehead” and “chin” areas (top and bottom bezels, respectively). There’s no word on pricing, but both generations of Pixel handsets have been far too expensive.
Google is expected to announce the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in October, as usual. And if history is any guide, these phones will sell poorly, and not threaten Samsung, Apple, or other market leaders. They will also come with an unusual number of quality problems, unless Google finally figures that out.
Anyway, if you’re an Android fan or user, it looks like the notch is inevitable. And for that, we can thank Apple, which formalized this transitional design element, and the entire Android market, which just can’t seem to stop copying Apple.