Last week’s poll shows that Google may have underestimated the appeal of the Pixel 5a 5G. As far as we know, this model will only be available in the US and Japan. That pales even in comparison with the upcoming Pixel 6 duo that will launch in eight markets.
The poll results are split three ways with nearly equal percentage points. The top option (by a slim margin) is that people are interested in buying a unit, if one is available near them.
But that’s easier said than done – with the multitude of 5G bands used around the world, launching in more countries will probably require a new hardware revision or two. And with that comes extra costs, so Google has to be sure that the market will buy enough units to make the whole enterprise worth it.
The second option was picked by people looking for a discount. The Pixel 5a 5G is already $50 cheaper than the 4a 5G, despite being a more premium device. It’s still a mid-ranger, of course, and for $450 you can have a flagship chipset, a high refresh rate screen and fast charging these days.
Google Fi subscribers can get the Pixel 5a 5G for just $15 a month (and there are perks on top)
This is likely the reason for the 5a’s geographical limitations – US and Japan buyers have more money to spend on a new phone than people in most countries. Though this doesn’t explain why, say, the UK or Taiwan are not on the list (and they are getting the more expensive Pixel 6 duo).
The answer to that may lie in the competition in those markets. You won’t find a cheap, 5G-enabled Redmi or Realme in the US, for example, but those are easily accessible in Europe and Asia.
Whatever the reason, 1 in 3 people won’t buy a Pixel 5a 5G, even if one was available in a store near them. That’s actually quite a positive result, compared to how the Pixel 4a was received. We’ll see how the initial sales go (the phone became available this Thursday), but Google may want to consider bringing the 5a 5G to a couple of more countries.