Google’s rumored ‘Pixel Pass,’ explained

Google might be making it more affordable to buy a Pixel phone and get the most out of the company's services.

Google’s Pixel 6 series can’t seem to escape the rumor mill, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be doing so before it’s officially unveiled on October 19th. The company’s new devices have hit headlines once again, this time in reference to a new “Pixel Pass” subscription that will see various services offered by Google bundled in a monthly subscription package.

What is Pixel Pass?

  • According to a leaked image first shared by Brandon Lee on Twitter, Google’s new Pixel Pass will be a service which you can subscribe to and get a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, a Google Fi subscription, YouTube Premium/Music, Play Pass, Google One, and an extended warranty for a fixed monthly rate.
  • Those interested would need to apply to finance a Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, and if they’re denied, they won’t be able to subscribe.
  • Pixel Pass would be available through both Google Fi and the Google Store for those who want an unlocked device.

How much will it cost?

That remains unclear at the moment. So far, we haven’t seen any concrete prices for the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, so there’s no real way to guess how much Google will be charging users. However, since the devices are generally assumed to cost around $1,000, and given how other devices usually go for about $45/month for 24-36 months depending on the length of a lease, I’d assume Pixel Pass will cost about that.

When will it be available?

Presumably when the Pixel 6 series launches. It appears to be Google’s alternative to Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program and Apple One subscription service, giving users a way to more easily afford a new Pixel phone and receive access to various Google-backed services.

My takeaway

I think this is a smart move on Google’s part. Subscription-based models have proven to work to drive adoption to certain products and services, and making the purchasing process more streamlined and accessible in this way might be enough to sway people’s buying decisions in Google’s favor to get more Pixels in the hands of customers.

That’s something the company desperately needs. The Pixel phone, by any stretch of the imagination, has never been a best-seller. Google has never sold as many Pixels as Samsung has Galaxies or Apple has iPhones, and it seems every year the Pixel phone becomes more and more an underrated goldilocks option in an ever-crowded market.

By making the Pixel 6 series more approachable from the get go, Google might be able to strike the right chord with customers and start actually selling phones. If it can deliver on the new Tensor processor, upgraded camera tech, and new design, I don’t see why these phones couldn’t be hits based on sheer potential alone.

If more details leak out before the October 19th launch date, I’ll let you know.