Verizon has put an "indefinite hold" on plans to sell Google's Pixel phones, Android Police reported late Wednesday citing an unidentified source described as familiar with the company's plans. No specific reason was cited, but poor sales could have motivated the change.
Verizon on Thursday morning pushed back against the report, with a spokeswoman saying the mobile carrier will continue to work with Google and looks "forward to the new portfolio of devices." Android Police retracted its story hours later.
Since the original Pixel phone launched in 2016, Google and Verizon have been tied at the hip, with the nation's largest carrier serving as the exclusive partner for the phone franchise. That changed when Google unveiled the budget Pixel 3A in May, which was made available on multiple carriers for the first time.
The Google Pixel 4 sported many new features, including a radar chip capable of detecting gestures, as well as a voice recorder app and a slicker display. But the Pixel 4's availability on multiple carriers put Google's marquee smartphone in potentially more hands than ever, reducing it exclusivity and wow factor.
In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Google hinted at a slide in its consumer hardware business. Google CFO Ruth Porat mentioned the company's "declining hardware revenue," referring to Google's spate of branded devices, including the Pixel phone, Nest Mini smart speaker and Google Wi-Fi router.
Google didn't respond to a request for comment.
Originally published Feb. 19.
Update, Feb. 20: Adds comment from Verizon and Android Police retraction.