Like Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro might get price hikes this year. Google might even use Apple’s rumored iPhone 15 price hike as cover to bump up the starting prices of its Pixel 8 handsets. And there is a leak that claims to reveal purported price points for the Pixel 8 models Google will sell in Europe that are higher than the Pixel 7 price tags.
However, this might be the rare Pixel leak that isn’t entirely accurate.
After so many years of reporting on Nexus and Pixel devices, I’ve learned to trust Pixel leaks, whether they come from the usual trusted sources or unexpected ones. That’s because Google can’t keep secrets. Sometimes, these phones are sold online before Google even announces them. Also, remember the early Pixel reviews popping up online well before launch.
This brings us to The Tech Outlook’s exclusive report, which lists the Pixel 8 prices for Europe.
How European prices work
As a reminder, a phone sold in the European Union (EU) generally has the same price regardless of country. But Google doesn’t sell the Pixel in every EU market. More importantly, European prices always include sales tax. That’s why they’re usually higher than the US prices. Therefore, you can’t just convert the US price tag into Euros and get an accurate conversion.
For example, let’s look at the Pixel 7 prices for Europe compared to iPhone 14 prices. The 128GB Pixel 7 sold for €649 in the EU at launch, while the base 128GB iPhone 14 cost €1,019.
The 128GB Pixel 7 Pro was more expensive at €899. The iPhone 14 Pro Max started at €1,329. Keep in mind that Apple already hiked its iPhone prices in Europe for the iPhone 14 series while keeping them unchanged in the US.
We don’t need to convert the price above to US dollars. The point is that Google’s Pixel 7 phones were significantly more affordable than the iPhone 14 series last year, regardless of market. Therefore, there’s plenty of wiggle room for Google to increase the prices of its latest Pixels this year, particularly if Apple chooses to introduce another price hike with the iPhone 15. At the very least, prices for the iPhone 15 Pro models should go up in the US.
Why the Pixel 8 price leak makes no sense
The Tech Outlook claims the 128GB Pixel 8 will cost €874.25, while the 128GB Pixel 8 Pro will cost €1,235.72. Per the blog, these are prices with tax. If accurate, we’re looking at price hikes of over €200 for the EU. These Pixel 8 price tags would still be lower than the iPhone 14 series. Therefore, the Pixel 8 could be more affordable.
But there is an issue with the leak. The blog mentions prices without tax for these phones. That’s €710.77 for the Pixel 8 and €1,004.65. That’s something you just don’t see in Europe for any product, including smartphones.
Retailers do not list prices like that, which makes me think this is just placeholder information from an online store planning to stock the next-gen Pixels. The blog does feature screenshots showing these prices.
Also unusual are the final figures above. Prices like €874.25 do not make sense for any region, regardless of whether tax is included.
Finally, I’ll also note that the Pixel 8 series will not deliver such a massive upgrade to warrant a big price hike. The Tensor 3 chip will not match the iPhone 15 Pro’s A17 Bionic chip when it comes to power or efficiency. No vendor will have access to 3nm chip manufacturing from TSMC for at least a year. And nobody else makes 3nm chips right now.
That’s just one aspect of it. Aside from the chip, there’s nothing to suggest Google is paying significantly more to manufacture the Pixel 8.
Moreover, Pixel phones have never been flying off the shelves. Hiking up the prices in a manner similar to the leak above would make it even more difficult for Google to sell these handsets in this economy.
Remember that smartphone vendors are struggling right now. Only Apple is expected to weather the storm better than rivals thanks to a large base of iPhone users who will likely upgrade to a new iPhone this year. That’s why Apple is raising the iPhone prices in this climate.
Thankfully, we don’t have a long wait ahead. The Pixel 8 event is scheduled for October 4th, so we’ll soon learn whether the price points above are accurate.