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Pixel boss Rick Osterloh: Pixel 2 is coming this year and staying premium

Formerly at Motorola, Rick Osterloh has been working for Google for about a year and is head of the hardware department. His most famous product is the Google Pixel. We talked to him about the future of the Pixel devices and we were made privy to, among other information, when the Pixel 2 is due to arrive.

"What has Google learned from the Pixel? What is one of the most important problems that you want to address with its successor?" That's I wanted to know from Rick Osterloh when we met at Mobile World Conference 2017. The head of Google's hardware department must know the answers. After all, the Pixel and Pixel XL are his babies. He tells us that with the current Pixel, there are too few devices to meet consumer demand.

Even if he didn't want to tell us the exact cause of bottleneck, it would not be possible to get the parts needed for the Pixel in the necessary quantities to produce more. Unfortunately, we can't easily independently confirm whether the permanent lack of available devices is actually due to a lack of particular parts.

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Unfortunately, I didn't get a specific answer as to when a possible successor to the Google Pixel would arrive. But, I still got a rough idea of the Pixel 2 release date from him.

AndroidPIT google daydream view 0661
The Pixel XL works well with features like Daydream AR. What will its successor do? / © AndroidPIT

When will we get the Pixel 2?

Osterloh said, "There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it." He then follows up more concretely by saying, "You can count on a successor this year, even if you don't hear a date from me now." This also makes it clear that the Pixel was by no means a one-off experiment, but that it will remain a fixed quantity in the smartphone world.

"Pixel stays premium"

He also confirmed that the Pixel will be at home in the upper price segment. "Pixel stays premium," explains the hardware boss of Google. Also, he stuck to his answer through repeated questioning by various round table participants: there will be no cheap Pixel. Google will continue to leave lower price segments to other manufacturers.

Finally, I asked Osterloh to give our community a friendly shout out:

Are you looking forward to the new Pixel? What do you think can be improved from its predecessor?

13 comments

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  • Jay C 1 month ago Link to comment

    "Pixel Stays Premium" ?
    That's some funny shit Rick 😂
    Pixel is far from Premium
    Just because something costs a premium doesn't make the product itself premium.

  • Suo Eno 1 month ago Link to comment

    Ya know as much as I criticize Apple, at least these days they'd do their best to push the term "premium" a bit lower down their marketing Bible because they know better than to overplay that, I mean after all this time in the market. Sure still there's some ridiculous hyperbole in their usual marketing material but yeah.

    So I'm sorry to say but it's almost comical to see someone declares something is "staying premium" like it's supposed to mean something. Or maybe "The PRICE comes 1st. Whatever gets finalized next means NO COMPROMiSE because we told you already it's a PREMIUM device". Just like that? lol that's not how life works Mr.Osterloh sir and particularly so when we talk about mobile tech.

    Pixel 1st gen to me brought nothing but a sticker shock and just maybe some semblance of a so called Google discipline for product design. It's like looking at an OEM trying to out-iPhone the iPhone but with "off the shelf" parts that other OEMs have access to anyways save for maybe an over-focus on the digital imaging aspect. Let that sink in for a moment... oh and yeah slapped an eyebrow raising price because I don't know? For effect? Just because? Apparently this is actually working because we got some apologists out there ready to defend the cause.

    So at the minimum, until Pixel 2 gains the same kind of a ground up design approach as an iPhone I don't believe that it deserve to hold that so called premium war banner for Android in general when rival OEMs (e.g OnePlus, Xiaomi etc) evidently today are more than capable enough to put out worthy competition at a much much more lower prices.

  • PIXEL BOSS RICK OSTERLOH

  • Keeping it premium is one factor that setting it back against competitors, maybe if they could create a mid-range version of it is a great strategy that they could do.

    • They call it premium. OK, always back ordered. What good is a phone if you can't get it into the consumers hands! I ordered it they told me I had to wait 60 days for the XL! That's good business, don't ya think!

  • I'm very excited for Pixel 2. My only two things I want is great IP ratings for water/dust and for T-Mobile to carry the new phone.

  • I was drooling when the Pixel XL was announced. Bought one in the black friday special price from Verizon. Got it early January. Activated it and used it about 3 weeks. Moved it to line number 2 and moved my Nexus 6 back to my main number. The pixel is okay but nothing special. Still in love with my Nexus 6

  • Doug D. 1 month ago Link to comment

    I overlooked the lack of much better water resistance and a poor speaker for the 1st year, and I do really enjoy my Pixel XL, but if these things are not improved, to match their chosen target, at exactly the same price point, I will be passing on the 2cd generation.

    Oh, and if you're actually in the hardware business, you better make damn sure your hardware is actually available to purchase.
    Radical concept, I know.

  • I have to say I havent really seen the point to the Pixel so far it is more expensive than Samsung and with less features (e.g. no expandable storage or waterproofing)

    • For most it's the 'pure' Android experience with guaranteed OS updates (2 years) and monthly security updates (3 years) - Hopefully the P2 will have waterproofing and expandable storage.

    • dsDoan 1 month ago Link to comment

      Which region are you in? In the US, the Galaxy S7 launched with a higher price than the Pixel.

  • Please add waterproofing and wireless charging!

  • Please make a Super BIG- Pixel XL this time as 1 of the choices : 6" + (5.5" is not XL at all)

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