Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel costs and software program updates


The Nexus 4 was a groundbreaking telephone – a close to flagship for $300. Okay, it did have its quirks, e.g. no LTE help (although that wasn’t as essential again in 2012), storage was restricted too. As a substitute of specializing in only one telephone we needed to have a look at the tendencies in Google’s telephone line-up.

We talked about the value of the Nexus 4 and we’ll see what occurred to the “flagship killer” standing of the sequence. This sequence is all about exploring a nicely acknowledged trait of a selected model or sequence – and we predict that software program help is likely one of the defining options of the Nexus and Pixel telephones.

Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel prices and software updates

The Nexus telephones have been reasonably priced at first, particularly in the event you waited a couple of months. The Nexus 4 dropped as little as $200 at one level. The Nexus 5 bought worth cuts as nicely. Then got here the Nexus 6 – its $650 price ticket made many followers sad. It was nonetheless a superb telephone and it influenced Google’s strategy to handsets.

The next yr in 2015 the Nexus line was break up into two fashions that we’ll name “base” and “professional” for consistency. That was additionally the final of the Nexus line, Google began recent with the Pixel telephones.

These steadily elevated in value over time, peaking in 2018 and 2019 with the Pixel 3 and 4 at $800 and Pixel 3 XL and 4 XL at $900. After that Google modified course and recently the value of the small mannequin has been falling, happening to $600 with the Pixel 6. The Pixel 6 Professional remains to be $900, although.

Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel prices and software updates

Curiously, the elevated costs didn’t damage the efficiency of the Pixel telephones in the marketplace. The alternative, in reality, as Google’s 2019 shipments surpassed earlier years by fairly a margin. Be aware that the picture beneath exhibits cumulative shipments of all Pixel telephones, nevertheless it clearly appeared like Google is on the precise path. The corporate allegedly had huge plans for the Pixel 6 sequence too, planing to produce 7 million, greater than another sequence. Nevertheless, Google isn’t one to speak about gross sales, so we don’t truly know the way nicely the 6-series did (we’ll have to attend for analysts to determine that out).

Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel prices and software updates

We’ll get again to pricing in a second as we haven’t coated the “Pixel a” sequence whose foremost aim is to supply a Google telephone on a budget. How a lot would you pay for that fabled Google software program help? Truly, how good is that help?

We tried to convey that by a chart. The pink line exhibits the interval in years throughout which a era of telephones obtained OS updates (together with minor ones). The blue line is for the interval throughout which safety patches have been issued.

Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel prices and software updates

On common, Google presents 3 years of OS updates. The Nexus 6 stands out, however that was truly an previous replace that arrived late – early on Android 7.1.1 was breaking Android Pay and it took Google some time to discover a repair (in the meantime customers have been downgraded to 7.0).

The Pixel 3 era additionally stands out – it bought 4 years safety patches as an alternative of three years as initially deliberate. In truth, the final replace for the 2 2018 telephones rolled out on the finish of June this yr (Android 12 arrived final yr).

Be aware that the Pixel 4, 5 and 6 sequence presently run Android 12. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will obtain their final assured OS replace in October of this yr. By the appears of it, that will probably be simply lengthy sufficient to get Android 13 put in.

Beginning with the Pixel 6 era, Google modified up the technique a bit. It nonetheless guarantees solely 3 years of OS replace (rivals like Apple and Samsung provide extra), nevertheless it dedicated to five years of safety patches. In keeping with the Assist heart, the Pixel 6 and 6 Professional will get their final assured OS replace in October 2024 and the final assured safety patch in October 2026. “Assured” since, as you noticed with the Pixel 3, there are some exceptions.

Earlier than we wrap up, let’s have a fast have a look at the Pixel a telephones. We’ve grouped the Pixel 3a and 4a as comparatively small telephones and the Pixel 3a XL, 4a 5G and 5a as bigger telephones (with 5G within the newest iterations). As you possibly can see, the pricing is pretty steady at round $400 for the primary group and $500 for the second.

Flashback: a decade of Google Nexus/Pixel prices and software updates

We haven’t plotted software program help on a chart since it might have made for a boring chart – the “a” telephones get 3 years of OS updates and three years of safety patches.

2019 2020 2021
Telephone 3a & 3a XL 4a & 4a 5G 5a
Begin OS ver. 9 10 & 11 11
Finish OS ver. 12
When? 2022 2023 2024
OS updates 3 years 3 years 3 years
Final safety patch 2022 2023 2024
Patches 3 years 3 years 3 years
Value (base) $400 $350 $450
Value (professional) $480 $500 $450

There’s a Pixel 7 sequence coming later this yr, however Google hasn’t revealed an excessive amount of about it but. Contemplating earlier fashions, nevertheless, we will say that the telephones will most likely get 3 years of assured OS updates and 5 years of safety patches. And we wouldn’t be shocked if Google maintains the beginning costs on the present ranges both.


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