AAA 484: Google Pixel 4a REVEALED!

Beep boop - this is a robot. A new show has been posted to TWiT…

What are your thoughts about today’s show? We’d love to hear from you!

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Ever wonder why the sales numbers of Google Pixels aren’t that big?
The Google Pixel 4a could be the next Nexus 5 if it just wasn’t being sold in only 13 countries. Take the U.S., Canada and Australia and there are only 10 countries left. You just can’t buy the thing. Not even online in the Google Store.
In how many countries can you buy of order online an Apple phone?
I rest my case.

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Can you clarify what you mean by “be the next Nexus 5”?

The LG Nexus 5 is a real classic amongst Android devices. Made from plastic but reasonable priced and fast enough to get things done.
Looks like the Pixel 4a wants to be in the same category. However because of the availability it never will be.

The Nexus 5 is certainly a classic, and probably the spiritual predecessor to the Pixel 4A. If the 4A doesn’t achieve mythic status among Android enthusiasts, though, I think it will be because it is merely following in the footsteps of the Nexus 5 which was released in November 2013 with a clean new (“pure”) Android interface and very good specs at a price that was actually low enough to buy outright instead of getting roped into a two year contract. Since then, though, the so-called mid-tier market has grown considerably and two-year contracts and subsidized phones seem archaic. The Pixel 4A is not breaking any new ground here.

As for sales, the Nexus/Pixel line has never been a hit and distribution has always been an issue. The Nexus 5 was sold primarily through Google, and though it worked on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile it was not available in their stores-- the primary point of sale for US consumers. Nor was it supported with any kind of marketing campaign. Critically, the phone didn’t even work on Verizon, the largest US network. I can’t speak to availability in global retailers, but I’ve never seen any Google device make a top-selling end of year list. I think the Nexus 5 was a huge fan favorite among the tech crowd but didn’t get traction among the public because of limited distribution and marketing. The Pixel 4A at least has a year-plus of dedicated Pixel brand advertising as well as distribution through cellular carrier retail stores. But like its spiritual predecessor it will be blown away by Apple and Samsung.

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You’re watching this from a U.S. perspective. It’s a total different game overseas. People generally don’t go to their mobile carrier for a new phone. They can but mostly don’t.
In 2013 you could go to almost any electronic store and buy any LG, HTC, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung or Apple phone. Because network locked phones are very rare just swap the SIM card and you are done. Not a single question or interaction with the carrier.
In 2020 most phones are still sold outside the carrier store.
And the Google Pixels fail overseas because you can’t buy them in a retail or online store.


Fair point, good sir. I would still contend that no Google phone has ever been a top-10 selling device, but I am happy to concede that point as well if someone can provide compelling evidence.