Google announced its newest, most affordable phones today — the Pixel 3A and 3A XL — and for the first time with Pixel phones, more carriers than just Verizon will sell them in stores. Google confirmed today that T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular will sell the phones, along with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. AT&T will also support the 3A and 3A XL, which means that people can insert a SIM and use the phone, but the carrier won’t place it on store shelves. Smaller carriers, like Verizon’s all-digital Visible carrier, will also sell and support the Pixel 3A, 3A XL, 3, and 3 XL. The device goes on sale tomorrow in stores, and Google’s own website has it available today. Verizon’s orders will go live at 3PM today.
Getting carriers to sell its devices is a big step for Google as it looks to conquer more of the smartphone market. Their support means more promotion, better support if a device breaks, and visibility in the places where many people ultimately buy their phones.
Having a phone in stores gives Google more access to customers as they’re picking out a new phone. Right now, Samsung, the largest Android phone maker in the US, spends a lot of money to market its devices, and employees at the carrier stores are able to show and recommend those phones to customers. Now they can do the same for Google phones.
In an interview with The Verge’s Dieter Bohn, Google’s SVP of hardware Rick Osterloh said the company doesn’t plan to increase its marketing budget.
“So far, we’ve invested what we think is the right amount,” he says. “We will certainly continue to invest a lot in it. I don’t know that we’re going to make huge increases in [the budget], but it’s certainly something we always look at, and I think it’s already pretty substantial. We think for where we are now, it’s adequate for reaching users we want to reach.”
He also told The Verge that the team isn’t planning to build its own physical stores.
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