Here's another sign the Google Pixel 6a is launching very soon

The Google Pixel 5a lying face down on a table
The Google Pixel 5a is getting a successor (Image credit: Future)

We know that the Google Pixel 6a is on the way, and a new leak suggests it could be on the way very soon: production on the mid-range phone has apparently now started, which means it shouldn't be too long before we get to see it.

This comes from well-known tipster Mukul Sharma, who says that production has begun in Asia and a launch is now "imminent" – a prediction that matches with other rumors we've been hearing around the Google Pixel 6a.

It seems most likely that the Google Pixel 6a will show up at the Google IO 2022 event, which gets underway on May 11. The conference is ostensibly a software showcase, but it has been used to unveil new hardware in the past.

Previous leaks

The Google Pixel 5a got its grand unveiling on August 17, 2021, but it looks very much as though the variant might land earlier this year. The Pixel 5a was only launched in the US and Japan due to the ongoing chip shortage affecting companies worldwide.

Google itself leaked the name of the upcoming Pixel 6a, and we're expecting it to follow the lead of the Pixel 6 that launched last year: the design is going to be along similar lines it would seem, and the phone will be powered by the same Tensor chipset.

Unofficial leaked renders have given us more of an idea of what might be around the corner in terms of the aesthetics of the Google Pixel 6a – though all the signs are that we won't have to wait much longer to see it for ourselves.

Analysis: this could be Google's biggest hit yet

While Google hasn't revealed just how many units the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro have shifted, company executives have gone on record to say that the most recent Pixels are the fastest selling phones in the Pixel series to date.

That's encouraging news if you're Google, and the Pixel 6a is perfectly placed to build on that success too. From what we've heard so far it sounds as though the phone will keep a lot of the best bits of the Pixel 6 while putting it in a more affordable package.

While the limited availability of the Pixel 5a harmed its chances of making a major mark on the consumer market, these cheaper editions of the Pixel flagships have offered plenty of appeal in the past – right back to 2019 and the Google Pixel 3a.

Now it's up to the Pixel 6a to take on the likes of the iPhone SE (2022), and we think it's got a very good chance. As always, pricing is going to be crucial: the Pixel 5a went on sale for $449 (which works out as about £365 or AU$635).

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.