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This big step means the Google Pixel 4a is now closer to release

Google Pixel 3a
The Google Pixel 3a from 2019 (Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 4a, the affordable version of the Google Pixel 4, has been making news since the beginning of 2020 but its launch has been seemingly delayed on multiple occasions. 

Now, reports suggest that the device may be even closer to launch as it has just passed through the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which is a certification body for the US.

A tweet from Mishaal Rahman from XDA Developers suggests that the Pixel 4a has indeed just passed through the FCC, though the data provided by the US regulator does not seem to add any new bits of information about the device that isn't already available in public domain. 

More than a week ago the Pixel 4a had received certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), which is a regulatory body similar to the FCC.  The certification appeared on the BIS website on June 10, but it took nine more days before the media noticed it. 

The FCC documentation available online does not carry any photographs of the hardware and it doesn't mention an official release dates either. That means we're only speculating that the Pixel 4a is closer to a launch, but FCC certification is usually a sign that a device is ready to launch.

Rumors have suggested a launch may be happening in July this year, and this would match that. That said, other leaks suggest Google may be holding the phone to launch alongside the Pixel 5 later in the year.

What we already know

Earlier this week, we had reported that French retailer Ordimedia has listed the handset on its website with a July 7 launch date. Of course, the latest FCC report now could well indicate that the device may actually be unveiled even before the July 13 timeframe that earlier rumors had suggested. These reports also claimed that the device may only be available in October. 

The listing also says the device will come in two colors; Just Black and Blue. That's a surprise that there's no unusual adjective at the start of the Blue shade considering Google's normal naming strategy, but that may change before launch.

On the design front, there has already been a bagful of leaks and it is highly likely that these would be what we eventually get to see when the Pixel 4a eventually launches.  

And, when it does, it would be worth watching whether the device does carry the Pixel 4a name or appears as the Pixel 5a alongside the Pixel 5, as some have speculated.