Bulletins

Google's Pixel Pass is a new subscription bundle to rival Apple One

The company is trying to sell both its new phone line and its existing software subscriptions.

Images of the new Pixel 6 smartphone.

But it's not clear how many customers are eager to wade this far into the Google ecosystem.

Image: Google

Google is launching a new subscription service designed to both sell its new Pixel 6 smartphone and promote its bevy of existing paid software services. It's called the Pixel Pass, and it bundles a new Google handset with YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, Google Play Pass and Google One cloud storage.


Google is trying to rival both Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program and Apple One bundle, which includes access to Apple's TV and music-streaming services in addition to other benefits. With Pixel Pass, customers will pay $45 or $55, depending on whether they want a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, and can upgrade their device after two years. The company announced the new plan on Tuesday during the live stream of its annual fall Pixel hardware event.

Google has very good reason to want its own all-in-one bundle. Tech companies are increasingly building out ecosystems of hardware and software, largely due to Apple's success in transforming its iOS ecosystem into a larger family of products and services that all tie into one another. By promoting one product, companies are more easily able to sell customers on a companion software subscription that works well with that product, as Apple does with its AirPods, HomePod and Apple Music platform.

With bundles, companies like Apple and Google are able to lock in customers and keep them paying a recurring fee in perpetuity, especially as those customers become accustomed to constant access to otherwise paid services that dictate how they get their music and entertainment. That in turn makes it more difficult for customers to switch to competing services in the future.

But Google is going one step further than the competition in unifying a hardware purchase with a software subscription bundle, ensuring customers continue paying for the device and using the provided platforms for years to come. That, too, makes sense: Many of Google's services, even its paid ones, monetize in ways beyond just subscription fees or basic advertising, relying on data collection to help inform Google's broader digital ad empire and to support the moneymaking activities of many of its free services, like Gmail and Google Search.

It's not clear how many customers are eager to wade this far into the Google ecosystem. Though the company is much more optimistic about the sales outlook for the Pixel 6 than for previous iterations, the company's mobile hardware efforts have to date failed to gain anywhere near the traction of the iPhone or Samsung's Galaxy line. Yet for those looking to buy the new Pixel phone, there don't appear to be any deals as tantalizing as the Pixel Pass, marking the start of what could turn into a not-so-walled garden of Google's own.

Latest Bulletins

Elizabeth Holmes intentionally hid the use of third-party testing devices from Walgreens, its biggest partner, in order to protect "trade secrets," the former Theranos CEO testified in her third day on the stand for her ongoing fraud trial in San Jose.

Keep Reading Show less

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes took the stand in a San Jose courtroom on Friday, beginning her testimony in the criminal fraud case against her.

So far, Holmes' attorneys have stuck to a few themes of her defense, including highlighting Holmes' inexperience as a college dropout and pointing the finger at Sunny Balwani, Theranos' former COO and president. She began her testimony by covering her background and how she came up with the idea of Theranos during college.

Keep Reading Show less

Google is asking the Justice Department to look into whether Jonathan Kanter, the new head of the antitrust division, should work on the lawsuit against the company.

Keep Reading Show less

General Motors is getting into the chip business.

After months of chip shortages have crippled the world's largest automakers' production, costing the industry hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, GM said that it is partnering with seven chip makers to design the silicon necessary to reduce the number needed and improve their quality.

Keep Reading Show less

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin said that he outbid the ConstitutionDAO group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts for a first-edition printing of the Constitution at a Sotheby's auction Thursday, killing the hopes of the ragtag bunch of online donors who had hoped to make a bold statement about the future of the internet.

Keep Reading Show less

Banks need to tell federal officials of large cybersecurity issues such as ransomware attacks within 36 hours under a new requirement approved Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

The Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful business lobbying group in the U.S., launched a series of attacks on the Federal Trade Commission on Friday and threatened litigation to push back on the progressive agenda of chair Lina Khan.

Keep Reading Show less

Facebook is giving users more control over what they see in News Feed, the company announced Thursday. Over the coming weeks, the company will being allowing some users to tweak their preferences in News Feed to change the amount of content they see from different accounts, pages and groups, as well as the topics that appear in their News Feeds.

Keep Reading Show less

The ConstitutionDAO raised more than $40 million to win a copy of the U.S. Constitution, but ultimately it wasn't enough. The online group, which organized itself using blockchain technology, lost an auction at Sotheby's that ultimately ended with a winning bid of $43.2 million.

"While this wasn't the outcome we hoped for," said Julian Weisser, one of the group's leaders, "we still made history tonight with ConstitutionDAO. This is the largest crowdfund for a physical object that we are aware of — crypto or fiat."

Keep Reading Show less

A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against Robinhood that had accused the company of colluding with Citadel Securities to limit trading of GameStop and other meme stocks in January.

Keep Reading Show less

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general today launched an investigation into Meta. The coalition seeks to determine whether Meta (formerly Facebook) promoted Instagram to children despite knowing the associated mental and physical health risks.

Keep Reading Show less

OpenAI has removed the waitlist for GPT-3, its AI programming interface that can produce text such as emails, articles and code, it announced Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

Xbox chief Phil Spencer said Microsoft is in the process of reevaluating its relationship with major game publisher Activision Blizzard. His comments come in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report regarding CEO Bobby Kotick's prior knowledge of sexual assault and workplace discrimination, according to a leaked email sent to Microsoft staff and obtained by Bloomberg.

Keep Reading Show less

In an effort to address its customers' requests quickly, Amazon reportedly put millions of them at risk. The company has allowed its workforce to abuse its access to large quantities of customer data, and has missed large outside security risks, a Wired investigation found.

Keep Reading Show less

Ford struck a deal with recently public contract chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries to secure enough semiconductors for its auto production amid a shortage, it announced Thursday.

Keep Reading Show less

Apple won't call its employees back to the office until Feb. 1, according to news reports.

Keep Reading Show less

German neobank N26 plans to shut down its U.S. operations, it announced Thursday. The service won't be available to U.S. customers after Jan. 11, 2022.

Keep Reading Show less

On Thursday, China officially launched the new national bureau to supervise anti-monopoly work.

Keep Reading Show less

Before the coronavirus pandemic, nearly one quarter of all Americans said that they find meaning and purpose in their lives because of their work and their jobs. Now, that number has declined by more 9% in a new Pew research study, affirming anecdotal stories about the American population's increasing disinterest in participating in the labor market.

Keep Reading Show less

Midweek is the most popular time for tech workers to go to the office. But that's not the case everywhere.

Keep Reading Show less

PFM Health Sciences partner Brian Grossman invested in Theranos despite red flags raised during diligence, according to evidence presented Wednesday in the ongoing fraud trial of former CEO Elizabeth Holmes.

During the process of vetting the blood-testing company, a colleague asked a contact at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois about Theranos, only to be told its tech didn't work. "They said they evaluated service and came to the conclusion that it does not work. They have no contract with Theranos and they did extensive diligence on the machine and came to this conclusion," a PFM team member said in an email to Grossman.

Keep Reading Show less

Nvidia disclosed late Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has "expressed concerns" over its $40 billion bid to acquire chip designer Arm, according to its chief financial officer.

Keep Reading Show less

Salesforce isn't waiting until its January reopening to get its teams together. The software giant is encouraging managers to gather their teams in person at least once before the end of the year.

Keep Reading Show less

Corporations are sucking up massive amounts of data and passing it around to all sorts of software partners, but setting privacy and security limits for certain types of data hasn't always been top of mind. Amid a flurry of product updates this week, cloud data giant Snowflake has expanded its data governance capabilities and integrations with several firms that provide various services for automating data protections.

Keep Reading Show less

A crowdsourced spreadsheet with a blacklist of bad managers at big Chinese internet platform companies went viral on Chinese social media earlier this week.

Keep Reading Show less