Pixel 6 phone

Google Sunsets Pixel Pass Subscription After 22 Months

Is the company pivoting in preparation for the upcoming Pixel 8 series smartphone launch?

services subscription is no longer available to new subscribers. Current subscribers can continue their Pixel Pass subscription until the end of the two-year term from the original subscription date, but they will not be able to upgrade to a new phone via Pixel Pass.

Google’s Pixel Pass subscription was meant to combine all the features of a smartphone with the subscription services Google users wanted, including YouTube Premium, Google One, and Google Play Pass, saving as much as $294 over the two-year term. Google first launched the Pixel Pass subscription in 2021 when it launched their Pixel 6 series smartphones. At launch, Google charged $45 a month for Pixel 6 users and $55 a month for Pixel 6 Pro, reports TechCrunch.

“We offer the best value of our hardware products and give users the flexibility to purchase their favorite services. We continue to evaluate offers based on customer feedback and provide different ways for them to access the best of Google,” Google said in a statement on why the service was being discontinued.

What happens now

Google will not be offering refunds for those who currently have Pixel Pass. The company said they remain committed to fulfilling their promise for the full two-year term on their subscription, The Verge shared. Here’s what happens next:

  • Subscribers’ Pixel phones will be fully paid off at the end of their two-year term.
  • Pixel Pass subscribers will receive a $100 loyalty reward credit to all active subscribers.
  • Pixel Pass users will receive support until their Pixel Pass term ends.
  • Google will notify subscribers when their two-year term ends.
  • The Preferred Care service contact through Google Store or device protection through Google Fi Wireless ends.
  • The services that were previously included under the Pixel Pass subscription including Google One, Google Play Pass and YouTube Premium will automatically renew each month until they are canceled. They will renew as a bundle at the current discounted rate.
  • Google sent Pixel Pass subscribers and email on August 29, 2023 with additional information.

Google has not explained why they are discontinuing Pixel Pass, and they are getting ready to release its Pixel 8 series smartphones. However, the company is making other changes both operationally and financially, and this may be part of a larger strategy. For example, this year Google launched an annual plan and price increases for Google Workspace; changed their Search algorithm; axed news content in Canada; sold Google Domains; discontinued Google Album archive, YouTube Stories, Grasshopper, Google Hangouts and the Google My Business app; and axed Google Stadia, its version of mobile gaming, just to name a few, according to Killed By Google.

Insider Take

Tech giants like Google are constantly making changes, including pricing, product updates, product and service upgrades and downgrades, and strategic decisions that we don’t always understand. It is their prerogative to be innovative and frugal while also providing good, quality products, services and support to their customers. In the last year though, Google has made many changes, including laying off 12,000 employees around the world, so many of their changes are seen through that lens. Maybe Google doesn’t have the manpower to continue to support the Pixel Pass subscription, or maybe the Pixel 6 series is not as popular as they’d hoped and it is not profitable enough to continue.

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