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Pixel 5a release date: Google confirms 5G variant following cancellation reports, but it may not ship in several markets

Google Pixel 4a | Photo credit: Daniel Romero (@rmrdnl) / Unsplash

The rumor mill may have forced Google to confirm the existence of Pixel 5a ahead of its expected release date. The company issued a statement to verify the existence of the mid-range phone, especially a 5G variant, following reports that it was canceled.

Google Pixel 5a is not canceled

Late last week, Android fans were surprised with the emergence of reports that the Pixel 5a, codenamed Barbet, has been canceled. At the time, Google was purportedly affected by the semiconductor crisis leading to the mid-range phone’s cancellation.

With such a report, Google appears to have been obliged to weigh in on the matter so as not to discourage potential buyers of the mid-range smartphone. In a statement to 9To5Google, the company confirmed, “Pixel 5a 5G is not canceled. It will be available later this year in the US and Japan and announced in line with when last year’s a-series phone was introduced.”

The publication also noted that Google “did acknowledge” going through the same issues with the supply chain. Over the previous months, major consumer tech manufacturers have been facing shortages in components resulting in delayed productions or limited stocks, such as experienced by PS5 and Xbox Series X/S fans.

Google Pixel 5a release date, availability

Going by Google’s choice of words, however, it appears that the Pixel 5a will have a very limited launch. Instead of having an LTE and 5G variant, the company might only release the latter. Google also specified the United States and Japan as markets where the mid-range phone will be shipped, hinting at having no plans to release the device in other regions.

As for the release date, Google may have also subtly confirmed in the same statement that the Pixel 5a will be released around the same period the Pixel 4a was announced. The latter was officially unveiled in August 2020, with its LTE variant going on sale in the same month and its 5G model arriving last November alongside the Pixel 5. This means the device might not make an appearance at the Google I/O next month.

The first render of Pixel 5a appeared in a leak from OnLeaks, suggesting there will not be much difference in its appearance compared to its predecessor. Meanwhile, Jon Prosser reports that the limited launch of the newer mid-range phone is expected to prolong the availability of the Pixel 4a series in other series throughout 2021.

Featured photo by Daniel Romero on Unsplash

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