The Pixel in 2016 kicked off Google’s latest and most committed push into entering hardware. When the second-generation Made by Google phones launched last October, the original device was kept around with a $100 price cut. Today, those first phones are no longer in stock on the Google Store or Project Fi.
Today (as spotted by Droid-Life), the device listing was removed from the Google Store’s Phones section. Previously side-by-side with the Google Pixel 2, only a lone “Accessories” category joins the latest flagship.
Even after 18 months, the Pixel and Pixel XL are still excellent phones, with the official $100 price cut making the phones even more attractive. Over the next few months, availability did significantly diminish with the smaller 5-inch phone no longer available in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the original Pixel is also gone from the Project Fi store, Google’s MVNO service. Only the Pixel 2 and Moto X4 are available. Fortunately, users who really prefer the old phone can still find it on Verizon — where it is actively being sold — and other retailers.
Given today’s removal, Google likely kept the device due to having excess inventory rather than a strategy of purposefully keeping last year’s device around at a cheaper price point, like Apple.
In the context of a rumored mid-range Pixel coming this year, it appears that Google would rather make a purpose-built device for other markets than just sell last year’s model at a lower price point. The latter solution has clearly worked for Apple, but Google appears to be taking a different approach.