JCB added their FeliCa QUICPay payment network to Google Pay yesterday, a sure sign that Pixel 3 has FeliCa. This narrows down the possibilities I outlined in the previous post:
1) Pixel 3 does not support FeliCa: this is unlikely given how much Google has advertised in Japan and would kill the Pixel brand in Japan forever.
2) Pixel 3 does the iPhone 7 thing and only supports FeliCa on Japanese specific SKUs: this is more likely but will piss off Android fans outside of Japan.
3) Pixel 3 does the iPhone 8 thing with a global FeliCa Pixel 3: most people will be happy and inbound Android users can finally join the Mobile Suica party.
4) Pixel 3 does the iPhone 8 JP global FeliCa but TD‑LTE Band 42 support is JP carrier exclusive: MVNO fans will be frothing at the mouth and cursing at the wind.
5) Pixel 3 does the iPhone 8 global FeliCa thing with TD‑LTE Band 42 JP SKUs both in SIM-free and select carrier locked arrangements: this would be the best outcome for MVNO users and for actually selling some product.
#5 is best but #3 and #4 will do.
Update: too bad global FeliCa fans, Google did the #2 iPhone 7 Japan SKU only FeliCa thing. The only questions left are what’s the embedded SE arrangement (eSE) which can give us a clue about Google’s NFC roadmap, and whether Pixel 3 JP FeliCa has Express cards with power reserve like iPhone XS/XR. Probably not.
Update 2: Looks like Pixel 3 uses a custom eSE for FeliCa.