Roland Quandt, who writes for German site Winfuture.de, recently published an image discussing three new Google Android smartphones that may succeed the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The devices are code-named Muskie, Walleye and Taimen, sticking with Google's typical pattern of code-naming its new devices after fish.
The code found inside Google's AOSP (Android Open Source Project) specifically mentions each device in comments under code discussing the Qualcomm MSM8998, otherwise known as the Snapdragon 835. The chip is Qualcomm's latest and greatest, and it supports next-gen Gigabit LTE wireless networks that will begin rolling out this year.
This suggests, though does not quite confirm, that the new phones will employ Qualcomm's new processor.
To date, this processor is only used in the new Samsung Galaxy S8. Earlier reports suggested Samsung may have been able to secure Qualcomm's entire first batch of those chips, which is why we haven't seen them used in any other smartphone just yet.
The original Google Pixel was only offered by Verizon or contract-free through Google. Supply of both models, including the Pixel and the larger Pixel XL, continues to be extremely constrained for unknown reasons.
Google will need to figure out a way to avoid that with its next smartphones if it plans to become a major player with its home-built smartphones. It also should try to make the new Pixels more widely available across wireless carriers, especially if it wants customers to pick its smartphones over devices from competitors like Apple or Samsung.
Google hasn't provided any official details on the next generation of Pixel devices, only noting that new models will indeed launch this year.
Google declined to comment on this article.