Android and chill: The Pixel and exclusivity

Android dudes
Android dudes (Image credit: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android Central)

I've noticed something during the past week. There are plenty of people who think the Pixel is a Verizon exclusive. This isn't an accident, I'm sure.

I have no idea what language is on whatever piece of paper Google and Verizon execs signed about the Pixel. I'm pretty certain it wasn't a note scribbled on a bar napkin and had enough lawyers look at it to make the room unhealthy, but nobody but those lawyers and a handful of others on the respective legal teams knows exactly what it says. But something in the wording apparently says Google had to say the Pixel was "only at Verizon" or other silly things.

They're scaling that back. If you go to the Made by Google site it tells you that you can have "The best of Google on the next-gen network by Verizon" but it doesn't say exclusive or only or anything of the sort anywhere on the page. Too bad it's too late for some folks.

I'm not knocking on the other choices available that people have gone with because they thought they couldn't use a Pixel. There are plenty of companies making phones that will appeal to plenty of people. The iPhone 7, the LG V20, the Galaxy S7 edge, hell even the Lumia 950 XL are great phones that nobody would have thought were possible just a few years ago. And there are plenty of people who would choose any of these over a Pixel. That's a good thing. Having a choice is always better. But poorly worded advertising that takes a choice away is not.

Any Pixel, whether the smaller version of the XL model, will work with the SIM card you're using now.

Let's be clear — the Pixel is Google's new phone that you can buy direct from the Google Store, Project Fi, Best Buy or Verizon. Any Pixel you buy from any of these places will work anywhere in the world. There are some differences that hardcore nerdly enthusiasts care about when it comes to bootloaders and update providers, but none of that will change the fact that any Pixel, whether the smaller version of the XL model, will work with the SIM card you're using now.

I'm sorry if the wording Google used had you thinking that you couldn't replace your AT&T Galaxy Note 7 with a Pixel. I want to hope that someone in a Google office somewhere is sorry, too. But there are definitely people somewhere who aren't sorry because this is exactly what that wording was supposed to do. Google, Verizon, I get it. You're both really good at making money and at the beginning of a newly rekindled relationship where the sex is awesome and you still like looking at each other. But that whole "exclusivity" thing was pretty lame.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.