Google's Pixel smartphone is striking up some heated competition between phone makers HTC, LG, TCL, and Coolpad, as the Pixel 3 gets ready to release in 2018. Yep, you heard that right—not the Pixel, not the Pixel 2, but the Pixel 3—which shows that Google is really committed to the future of its new flagship line.
According to a Chinese-language Commercial Times report obtained by Digitimes, HTC, the Taiwanese consumer electronics company, holds a two-year contract with Google to manufacture the current-generation Pixel, as well as the Pixel 2, which is slated to be released in late-2017. But LG, TCL, and Coolpad are now all competing with HTC for a contract to make the third generation of Google's flagship.
HTC, despite holding the contract for the previous two Pixel products, may not get the deal for the Pixel 3. Google doesn't always give just one manufacturer a contract to make all its products. In 2012, Google joined with five other manufacturers to produce its Nexus product line.
Instead, the report stated that LG could be the front-runner for the Pixel 3 contract. Google expects the orders for the Pixel 3 series to reach five million units.
HTC has shipped over 2 million units of the 5-inch Pixel and 5.5-inch Pixel XL since October, although they couldn't exactly keep up with demand, and many consumers found it hard to find on the market.
Similar to Apple's relationship with Foxconn, the manufacturer of the iPhone, the Pixel is completely designed by Google and only assembled by HTC. According to Chris Smith at BGR, Google aims for the phones to be premium devices that "compete against Apple, Samsung, and others in this particular market segment."