Google's hardware chief, Rick Osterloh formerly of Motorola, spent the week in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress - like the majority of the mobile world did - and talked with quite a few news outlets. We heard earlier this week through TechCrunch that Osterloh confirmed that the Chromebook Pixel had reached "end of life" and that they have no plans to release another Chrome OS laptop at this time. Now we're hearing from AndroidPIT, that Osterloh has confirmed that the second-generation Google Pixel will be released this year. Now that's basically common sense, as smartphones get updated with new iterations yearly, for the most part. But Osterloh also confirmed that it will be staying premium and they aren't thinking of doing a cheaper model.
Shortly after the Google Pixel and Pixel XL were unveiled last fall and became available, rumors started to swirl around that Google may be looking to offer a mid-range Pixel or at least a cheaper one. Similar to what they did with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P the year before. But Osterloh has shut those rumors down mostly, by saying that they have no plans for a cheaper model, and they are planning to keep the Pixel 2 "premium". Now that doesn't mean that we won't see the price go down on the Pixel 2 when compared to the Pixel, but it does mean that we won't see a cheaper model along with the premium one.
Last year, Google rebranded the Nexus lineup to the Pixel line, and with that they did away with manufacturer partnerships, in favor of building their own hardware. Even though HTC did technically build the Pixel and Pixel XL, you wouldn't know that without taking the device apart. As there are no HTC logos to be found on the outside of either device. That is going to be the same thing come later this year with the Pixel 2 as well. Google has been hyping up the "Made by Google" slogan that they adopted last fall when they debuted a number of hardware products including the Pixel, Pixel XL, Google WiFi, Daydream View and Google Home.