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New Google Pixel smartphone debut expected October 4

© GETTY/AFP/File | Google has invited media to an October 4 event expected to unveil a new version of its Pixel smartphone, the first of which was released last year

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - 

Google on Thursday fired off invitations to an October 4 event at which the US tech giant is expected to field a second-generation Pixel as its new champion in the competitive smartphone market.

The internet giant behind Android software for powering mobile devices also launched a madebygoogle.com web page that featured a playful animation that asked "Thinking about changing phones?" and then suggested waiting until October 4.

Invitations to the event in San Francisco also advised the curious to follow its @madebygoogle account at Twitter. The phrase was rolled out with the original Pixel to refer to the fact it was the first time Google created both the software and hardware of a smartphone.

The Google event will come shortly after Apple begins shipping new iPhone 8 models unveiled this week at an event at the company's new "spaceship" campus in Silicon Valley.

Apple also announced a 10th anniversary iPhone X, touting the new flagship device as the next generation of mobile computing.

The Apple handset starting $999 will be available starting November 3 in more than 50 markets.

Samsung last month unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note with a similarly high price tag as it seeks to mount a renewed challenge to iPhones.

Pricing on a Pixel 2 remained to be seen, but the original handset competes in the premium segment of the market.

© 2017 AFP