Why Google Pixels Aren’t as Standard as iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Telephones


The Google Pixel 7 and seven Professional have launched as the perfect Google telephones but, with higher digital camera lenses, software program and options, together with a better approach for folks with blindness or low imaginative and prescient to take selfies. The corporate added a bunch of Google Assistant options and touted new images tips just like the unblurring of outdated photographs. 

It is clear Google put a variety of work into its newest flagship telephone. What’s much less clear is whether or not anybody will care. 

In a world dominated by iPhones and Samsung telephones, Google is not a contender. Because the first Pixel launched in 2016, the whole sequence has offered 27.6 million items, in keeping with information by analyst agency IDC — a quantity that is one-tenth of the 272 million telephones Samsung shipped in 2021 alone. Apple’s no slouch, having shipped 235 million telephones in the identical interval. 

The Pixel has lengthy been a paradox of the cell handset enterprise. The household is the usual bearer for Android, the most well-liked cell working system on the earth, bankrolled by probably the most profitable and well-known corporations. But it lags far behind its greatest rivals and is a distinct segment participant in a world that it primarily controls. 

It’s kind of baffling for Google’s telephones to promote so poorly, because the Pixel telephones have been well liked by reviewers and customers (at the very least those who’ve heard of them). Furthermore, they’re the primary telephones to get new options and variations of Android months and even years earlier than different telephones. 

A set of selections and strategic strikes have put Google on this place, one thing the corporate is making an attempt to dig itself out of. Its fall Made by Google occasion usually is a cornucopia of various merchandise, from sensible audio system to safety cameras. Thursday’s occasion was solely targeted on the Pixel title. 

However listed here are a few of the the reason why Google is taking part in catch-up now. 

Lack of entry

It appeared to make sense for Google to tie itself to Verizon as unique companions when it first launched the unique Pixel. In spite of everything, an unique partnership between Google, Motorola and Verizon to push the unique Droid helped catapult Android into the mainstream. 

However that exclusivity meant fewer folks might purchase the telephone within the US, a strategic misfire with long-term implications. Customers had been capable of purchase Apple and Samsung telephones from any provider for years earlier than Google launched its first Pixel handset in 2016, so it did not assist that Google’s first three years of Pixel telephones had been unique to Verizon, limiting the model’s attain to clients who had been already selecting between iPhones and Galaxy telephones. 

That restricted attain has stored Pixels removed from customers’ minds as the sphere of telephone manufacturers has dwindled. Even with out competitors from LG, which stopped promoting telephones in 2021, and types like Xiaomi that promote high-value Android telephones in China however not within the US, Pixels are far much less recognized than iPhones and Samsung Galaxy handsets. 

“Regardless of Pixel getting rave opinions, Google’s greatest problem in gaining share has been poorer advertising spend and presence with carriers, each areas which can be at present dominated by Apple and Samsung,” mentioned Nabila Popal, a analysis director at IDC.

Pixels aren’t the one telephones to be locked to a single provider — Motorola had adopted up its profitable unique deal for the Droid with many follow-up units. However occasions had modified, and when Google lastly opened up its telephones to different carriers with the Pixel 4 in 2019, it needed to play catch-up with different carriers and customers.  

Lagging {hardware}

By then, iPhones and Samsung flagships had entrenched themselves within the public consciousness as units that pushed the bounds of each software program and {hardware}, with highly effective chipsets and plenty of digital camera lenses. Google’s telephones targeted on simply software program with mediocre tech specs and cameras, famously maintaining the identical major digital camera sensor from the Pixel 2 by way of the Pixel 5. 

Regardless of bettering the picture software program yearly to compensate, Google’s telephones nonetheless obtained a repute for lagging behind different prime telephones in {hardware}. Pixel telephones appealed solely to fanatics fairly than common customers due to this software-intensive method with a purer model of Android that did not have the modified overlays in Samsung or Motorola telephones. 

Google course-corrected by together with improved cameras and its new in-house Tensor chipset in final 12 months’s Pixel 6 telephones, and has even higher {hardware} within the new Pixel 7 telephones. With a triple-rear digital camera (discovered within the Pixel 7 Professional) and bespoke silicon, Google’s pivot has led to enjoyable and modern camera-focused options like scrubbing undesirable bystanders out of your photographs and serving to blind and low-vision customers take selfies.

Identification disaster

Google, nonetheless, nonetheless would not have a powerful identification for its telephones that units them other than iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy handsets. For years, fanatics and members of the media have been the loudest proponents of Pixels, calling them good digital camera telephones, however even Google would not fairly know what its telephones do greatest. As an example, the corporate described its Pixel 6 handsets as “the telephone for you,” citing customization options that really got here to all telephones that obtained Android 12.

Furthermore, the corporate appears cut up on whether or not its Pixels supply critical worth or push the restrict as flagships. Whereas the Pixel 7 has a lot of the bells and whistles of its pricier Professional sibling for a extra midrange $600 beginning value, the Pixel 7 Professional rivals Samsung and Apple flagships at a $900 beginning value — however with out their title recognition in telephones.

“A part of Google’s problem is that smartphones are a mature market, and customers are — understandably! — pleased with Samsung and Apple,” mentioned Avi Greengart, analyst at Techsponential. 

Unseating Samsung might not be Google’s objective, Greengart defined, since doing so might destabilize Android. Each telephones use the identical working system, so Samsung’s continued dominance of the telephone market continues to be a win for Google. As long as Pixel telephones promote properly sufficient to be worthwhile, Google will in all probability hold making them.

The US market is essentially the most promising for Pixel gross sales. With out low cost Android telephones from Xiaomi and others, and with LG out of the telephones sport, Pixels have grown to 2% of the North American market within the second quarter of 2022, up from 1% in the identical interval in 2021. That is a paltry quantity in contrast with Apple, which owns 52% of the market, and even Samsung, which has simply over 1 / 4 of the US market. 

“Pixel continues to be not a family model like Galaxy,” mentioned Anthony Scarsella, analyst at IDC.

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