A leaked roadmap has revealed what Google might have planned for the next few years, detailing the manufacturer's current plan from 2023 to 2025. This includes launch plans for the next generation of Pixel flagship, the possible two-year a-series launch cycle and the long-awaited arrival of the Pixel Fold.
It's worth noting that the further away the launch, the less concrete the plans are, and some elements of the roadmap are more fluid than others. Still, the one big thing to take from this is that the next phones to launch could be Google's first foldable and the next affordable a-series model.
The roadmap - published by Android Authority with information from unnamed sources - suggests that Google will launch the Pixel Fold and the Pixel 7a around April or May 2023, when we expect Google I/O to take place.
The Pixel 7a is aiming to be at the same price point as the current Pixel 6a and is claimed to be upping the feature set to offer a faster refresh 90Hz display and wireless charging.
Later in 2023 the Pixel 8 ('shiba') and Pixel 8 Pro ('husky') are likely to launch, and will not feature any significant changes over the current Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro according to the report. Except that the Pixel 8 is claimed to be smaller than the Pixel 7, delivering a more compact form factor.
The two phones are also claimed to feature an updated Google Tensor processor called Tensor G3.
As for 2024 and beyond, one intriguing bit of information focuses on the future of the a-series of phones. There's a suggestion that whether or not a Pixel 8a appears depends on the success of the Pixel 7a.
If sales don't meet targets for the Pixel 7a, it's claimed Google could adopt a similar launch approach to Apple's iPhone SE range, and launch a device every couple of years rather than it be a nailed-on 12-month refresh. If it does launch in 2024, it's suggested we'll see a price increase too.
Another interesting point of conversation is the Pixel 9 series for that year. The report claims that we'll see three different models of Pixel 9.
The entry-level model is claimed to be similar to the smaller Pixel 8 from the year before it, but there are also going to be two 'Pro' models for 2024, with one of those featuring a smaller 6.3-inch display, but still having all the extra trappings that make it a 'Pro' phone.
If that were the case, that would mean a Pixel 9, a Pixel 9 Pro and a Pixel 9 Pro XL/Plus all launching around September/October of 2024.
As mentioned, the further into the future we get the less concrete plans seem to be, understandably. One possible plan for 2025 is to launch a flip-style foldable Pixel phone and - perhaps - a second Pixel Fold (depending on the success of the first one in 2023).
All of this - of course - is just rumour for now, and while Android Authority is confident in its source's information, it's always worth holding any information like this lightly. Not just because it's impossible to verify until Google officially announces anything, but also - like the report itself says - plans can (and probably will) change.
This is - purportedly - Google's plan right now, and is what the company is working towards, but that can be adapted and changed depending on so many market factors.