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Monday, October 18, 2021

‘Pixel Pass’ is Google’s rumored response to Apple One

Google seems poised to announce a new subscription bundle called “Pixel Pass,” which would combine a new Pixel device with an extended warranty and premium subscriptions for several Google services. The unconfirmed bundle has been detailed in a leaked image published by Brandon Lee. It’s unclear how much Pixel Pass would cost, but the documents suggest it will be sold via Google Fi and the Google Store alongside the purchase of a Pixel device.

As Lee notes, Pixel Pass appears to combine elements of Apple’s iPhone Upgrade program (which offers an iPhone via monthly subscription payments alongside an extended warranty) and its Apple One subscription services bundle. Pixel Pass could be pitched as a way to simplify access to all these services as well as offering the peace of mind of an extended warranty. Pixel Pass might also offer a discount compared to paying for the services individually, though there’s currently no indication of how much Pixel Pass might cost.

From the documents, it seems Pixel Pass will combine up to four subscriptions: YouTube Premium or YouTube Music, Google One, Play Pass, and Google Fi. These services cover video and music streaming, cloud storage, an app subscription bundle, and mobile network coverage. There’s no mention of Google Stadia, the search giant’s cloud game streaming service.

The leak suggests that the extended device warranty will function similarly to Google’s existing Preferred Care or Device Protection services, which offer protection against accidental and mechanical breakdown damage. Currently, Preferred Care is only available in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, while Device Protection is only offered with the US-only Google Fi service. This suggests Pixel Pass might be a North America-only option.

There’s no mention of which Pixel phones the Pixel Pass will be offered with. But given the Pixel 6 event is coming on October 19th, it seems likely that Pixel Pass will be introduced as an accompaniment for the new flagship smartphone.

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