Google’s Pixel smartphones get a lot of attention from the tech press, since they’re first-party hardware from the company that makes the world’s most widely-used smartphone operating system.

But Google has never actually cracked any list of top smartphone makers in terms of units shipped or sold, suggesting that Pixel smartphones haven’t made much of a dent beyond the enthusiast set.

It’s not clear what it would take to change that, but it looks like Google may have taken an important step this year by introducing the Pixel 3a line of smartphones, which sell for about half the price of a regular Pixel 3 — because according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, “Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than 2x year-over-year” after the Pixel 3a was launched.

Those comments came during a quarterly earnings call, and it’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily mean Google will sell twice as many Pixel phones this year as last — it just means the numbers were up in the second quarter of the year.

That makes sense since the Pixel 3a launched in the second quarter. Normally Google only introduces new phones in the fall, which means sales are likely to level off by the time the spring runs around.

So I have no idea if you can attribute the bump in sales to the fact that Google launched a mid-range phone or simply to Google’s decision to launch any phone during the off-season.

My hunch is that offering phones at multiple price points is a smart move. Folks who wanted Google’s version of Android software, guaranteed OS and security updates, and excellent cameras… but didn’t want to pay $800+ to get them now have more affordable options.

Pichai also hasn’t given an actual number — so while Google has sold at least twice as many phones during the quarter, that doesn’t tell us very much without knowing how many phones were sold during the same period a year earlier.

via TechCrunch

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4 replies on “Google doubles Pixel sales after launching the Pixel 3a mid-range smartphone”

  1. They could have increased their Pixel 3a sales even more by designing in a micro-sd slot. I wrote the phone off entirely with the 64GB storage. It was great that they made a sub $400 phone with a good camera, but they need to go one step further and allow more storage. It’s obvious that they want people to use their cloud storage (just like Apple and Ring).

    1. I don’t know if the average person even cares about that. Power users do, but you don’t have to be a power user to waste time on instagram (you don’t even have to be a human being for it!). What average people want is affordable access to a good camera and display and smooth scrolling. It’s similar to how I can’t be sure if the headphone jack increased sales any. While enthusiasts always feel the loss, there’s plenty of people who believe phone jacks are for poor people/old people/luddites. This is a “budget” phone, and it’s inclusion still fits those people’s view.

      1. I’m pretty sure Google is not in the business of making products that last long, or are consumer-friendly. That changed when they got rid of their small nerd team, which was responsible for things like GPe and Nexus. And they got (pretentious) people to copy an iPhone competitor.

        So yeah, of course sales are going to slump and stay stagnant when the phones don’t have a target audience (not great for power-users, not great for iPhone-users). OnePlus, Samsung, Xiaomi, are killing it out there in the market.

      2. My wife is hardly a “power user”. She doesn’t even know which model of iPhone she uses. She does know that she has run out of storage. Photos and videos take up a lot of space. All it takes in one grandchild and poof…all the space is used up. Google and Apple don’t care, but my wife’s next phone will probably not be an iPhone and if she does move over to Android it will only be a phone with removable storage.

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