According to Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh, the Google Pixel's successor is on its way -- but the company's next flagship phone may still cost you a pretty penny.
2016 marked the year that Google bucked the usual trend by ditching the Nexus brand for its line of signature smartphones, opting to change the name to Pixel after its Chromebook Pixel laptops. This time, Google designed the Pixel and Pixel XL phones from scratch and added premium features like a high-quality camera. Now that we've gotten word of a second-generation Pixel, it suggests the Pixel brand may be here to stay.
When asked about a Pixel 2 this week, Osterloh told AndroidPIT: "There is an annual rhythm in the industry. So, you can count on us to follow it." He added: "You can count on a successor this year, even if you don't hear a date from me now." So we can expect the next Pixel to come in 2017, but it's not yet clear whether it'll be released in October like last year.
We've heard rumors of the Pixel 2 in the past: according to a 9to5Google report from January, the second-generation Pixel may come with improved water resistance, an even better camera, and a faster processor.
Google was also rumored to be testing a budget version, a "Pixel 2B," according to that same report. But when AndroidPIT asked Osterloh about the second Pixel's price, the answer -- "Pixel stays premium" -- seemed to shoot the idea of a budget phone down. If Google makes a cheap phone, perhaps it won't be called a Pixel, or perhaps Google is leaving budget phones to other manufacturers. After all, there are plenty of cheap Android phones to choose from.
Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.