Google employees are holding a sit-in at offices around the world to protest alleged retaliation against workers.

Google on Monday sent out invitations to an October 15 event starring “things Made by Google,” with a new Pixel smartphone expected in the line-up.

The unveiling in New York City is likely to spotlight Google’s Android-powered challenge to the latest generation of iPhones recently unveiled by Apple.

The smartphone rivals typically introduce new hardware ahead of the year-end holiday shopping season.

Google appeared set to release a fourth-generation Pixel smartphone, possibly with features including the ability to recognize faces and gestures as part of its efforts to ramp up hardware in addition to its software and online services.

The move comes after Apple last week announced new iPhone and iPad models able to serve as stages for its new game and television services.

Google has struggled to break into the smartphone market dominated by South Korea’s Samsung, Apple and Chinese handset makers.

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