Last year, the Pixel and Pixel XL were available at Verizon stores. You probably heard commercials mention the Pixel was available “only on Verizon.” This was confusing because the Pixel was also available directly from Google and a few other places. Plus, the model sold at Verizon stores wasn’t any different than the model sold by Google. It was compatible with all carriers.
Verizon was only the exclusive retail partner, but that lead a lot of people to believe the Pixel only worked on Verizon’s network. Well, it sounds like the Pixel 2 is going to have the same problem. According to David Ruddock, the Pixel 2 will be Verizon-only in the U.S. again. It will also be sold from Google and probably Project Fi.
It’s obviously smart to partner with such a huge retail presence like Verizon, but it does create some customer confusion. Google had their own ads for the Pixel last year, but they were dwarfed by Verizon’s massive marketing campaign (which is another good reason to partner with Verizon). Hopefully, this year they can get the word out to customers on other carriers.