While HTC's contract-manufactured phones mark something new in the form of doing away with the Nexus namesake in favor of naming the new devices Pixel, they may also mark the return of the old tradition of carriers stocking Google's devices. The first whispers on the web of such a phenomenon come courtesy of Ausdroid, who reportedly have reason to believe that Telstra, the Land Down Under's largest mobile carrier, will not only have a deal to stock at least one of the new Pixel phones, but also a deal to make them the only carrier in Australia to do so.
Although Telstra is the nation's largest carrier, the move comes off as a bit of a head-scratcher from Google, who experimented with carrier input here and there from the Nexus S onward, finally killing off the concept of the carrier-kissed Nexus after the Nexus 5 met subpar sales through carriers, and the Nexus 6 didn't fare much better. The deal would mean that only Telstra customers could buy the phones on the spot from a carrier store and have the payments taken out of their tariff, but other operators' customers would still be able to use the phones, if bought unlocked, likely direct from Google. Such a move did not pan out for Google in the US or otherwise the last time it was attempted, and they wound up skipping over giving carriers a handle on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P at all in a number of territories.
In Australia, Telstra got the Nexus 5X last year, but skipped out on the Nexus 6P. Despite this, rumors point to the carrier getting their hands on the larger of the two devices, codenamed Marlin (aka Pixel XL), as an exclusive, though the other one being offered instead or the carrier getting both phones is still not completely off the table. Telstra is said to be pulling out all the stops for the launch marketing, with pre-orders starting on October 4th and the phone or phones releasing officially on the 20th. At that point, people will reportedly be able to grab the phone, along with 6GB of data and unlimited talk and text, for $95 per month, with pricing for other plans thus far not revealed.