Google Pixel 6 rumored to be slightly delayed to avoid iPhone 13 launch

An October launch seems likely, despite earlier rumors

Google Pixel
(Image credit: Google)

We had been expecting the Google Pixel 6 to appear in the middle of September. Early rumours pointed to the 13th, which would have placed it in the same week we expect the iPhone 13 to launch. That original leak came from a Weibo post, but Jon Prosser is now claiming that the Pixel 6 and possibly Pixel 6 Pro will arrive later in October, and the launch may be moved (or may never have been in September at all). 

It should be noted that Prosser doesn’t have a flawless leaking record. Earlier this year he told the world the Pixel 5a 5G was cancelled, and he was so deeply wrong Google actually had to issue a statement saying the phone was absolutely on schedule to launch in the US and Japan. Even so, Prosser persists, and he says the phones will be available to order on October 19 with a launch date of October 28, according to Tom's Guide.

While there’s certainly nothing to stop Google from launching new devices in the same week Apple is predicted to, pretty much everyone is likely to be working from rumours. It’s unlikely that Apple will have told Google its launch plans, and so any move would likely be based on the logical iPhone launch date, which often is early September. Picking 13 would be good for Apple, because it’s launching the iPhone 13, but also Apple doesn't really work like that. 

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are hotly-anticipated devices. For one thing, this is a landmark for Google, which will be using its own silicon design for the new devices. The Tensor processor promises to give Google all sorts of control over its phones, leveraging custom hardware to optimise images, or perform AI tasks. With long-term Google support promised for five years these could be desirable phones that will appeal to people who don’t want to upgrade every year or two. 

Crucially, Google’s own processor could be well set up for advanced image processing. That could give the company a lead in photography and video. Google has already proved that it’s capable when it comes to images, but video does still lag behind Apple’s phones. Custom silicon could give Google a lot more control and performance and perhaps shooting at higher resolutions and frame rates. 

A new Pixel design is rumoured, with a bold camera bump stretching across the rear of the phones. We should also see OLED displays with high refresh rates that will keep the Android faithful happy. No matter when these phones launch, it will be a big year for Google. Its devices are fan favourites, but they have never seen adoption rates like the biggest Android players like Samsung

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.