The Google Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch might turn up later than expected

The Google Pixel 6 smartphone resting on a surface
The Google Pixel 6 could soon get a 6a companion (Image credit: Google)

From the rumors and leaks that have appeared online so far, it seems as though the Google Pixel 6a and the Google Pixel Watch are launching soon – though perhaps not as soon as we originally thought.

Both devices had previously been tipped to make an official appearance in May, but now well-known tipster Jon Prosser has said that the Pixel 6a could be delayed until late July, while the Pixel Watch might also get pushed back.

One of the reasons is the global chip shortage that continues to affect just about every company in the electronics industry at the moment. There are some signs that it's easing, but it continues to have an impact on gadget launch schedules.

May-be, May-be not

A launch date of May 26 has been rumored for the Pixel Watch since back in January – leaked by none other than Jon Prosser himself, in fact – but as we've seen in the past, these provisional dates can often get pushed back as situations change.

More recently, sightings of the Pixel 6a and the Pixel Watch in a US carrier inventory system hinted that a launch could be imminent, with some sources pointing to May. That's when Google hosts its annual Google IO developer conference, which would be a suitable occasion to announce new hardware.

Now it would seem that launch window is in serious doubt, though Prosser says the Pixel Watch is still slated for May 26 for the time being. There's no guarantee they'll launch together, of course, and Google may decide to stagger the announcements.

Analysis: checking the timetable

Google unveiled the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro in October 2021, so it makes sense for the Pixel 6a to show up around May time, irrespective of Google IO – that would leave plenty of breathing space before the expected arrival of the Pixel 7 phones later on in 2022.

The Pixel Watch timetable is less easy to predict, because Google has never launched a smartwatch before. It's certainly fair to say that we've been expecting the wearable for several years at this point, so it would be no surprise to see it appear any day now.

Something Google might do (and something which it has done in the past) is announce these devices several months before they actually go on sale... so they could get their launch in May, but then they won't be available in July or whenever.

As far as consumers are concerned, that's quite a frustrating approach, and it means the hype around these devices may have died down by the time people can buy them. We'd say it's more likely that the launch dates and the release dates will be close together.

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.