Google Pixel 4a entering production in April — can it avoid coronavirus delays?

Google Pixel 4a render
(Image credit: 91Mobiles/OnLeaks)

If all goes according to plan, the Google Pixel 4a should go on sale on or about May 12, which would be the exact day that Google I/O 2020 is supposed to start. 

However, the way things are going with the coronavirus and the cancellation of shows like MWC, GDC and Facebook's F8, there’s no telling if Google’s event is still happening. Even if Google I/O is postponed or cancelled, it looks like Google is doing everything it can to make sure that its low-cost phone goes on sale as planned.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Google is expected to start production of the Pixel 4a “as soon as April.” And Google is reportedly shifting production from China to partners in Northern Vietnam. 

The same report says that Google plans to manufacture is Pixel 5 flagship phone in Northern Vietnam as well. 

In addition, Google is readying production lines in Thailand for smart home products, such as the Nest Mini. The only timetable provided is the first half of 2020.

The Pixel 4a is a big deal for Google because the low-cost Pixel 3a has reportedly generated far more phone sales than any of its flagship devices.

The rumored features for the Pixel 4a so far include a faster Snapdragon 730 processor, possible 5G support and a second rear camera.

But the most important Pixel 4a feature will be its price. The Pixel 3a starts at $399, and the Pixel 3a XL starts at $479. We anticipate that this year’s lineup will have similar pricing, although 5G versions could command higher premiums.

Last month, we heard that Verizon was reportedly ditching Google as a partner for the Pixel 4a and all future smartphones. But Verizon immediately refuted that report, which is key, because Google needs that carrier partner in the U.S.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.