In 2016, after almost seven years of Nexus devices, Google has finally begun to take the smartphone market seriously. The Pixel series, which combined standard Android with excellent cameras and a unique design, was announced in early October as the company’s first true iPhone and Galaxy competitor.
The first generation of devices worked relatively well in terms of sales, as did their respective successors in 2017. But what should have been prolonged growth last year turned out to be a serious setback for the company. Pixel 3 flagships have a permanent discount due to low sales and only the mid-range Pixel 3a is producing positive results. Now, with the Pixel 4 series less than three months ago, I believe that the future of Google’s smartphone business depends largely on its success.
The First Real Attempt By Google To Address Mainstream Consumers
Although it is considerably more popular than the Nexus line it replaces, Google’s Pixel series has never attracted conventional consumers in the same way as Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s galaxies for a variety of reasons. But this year, the company is finally trying to change this.
Starting from the design, the official images and subsequent CAD-based renderings confirmed that Google is abandoning its characteristic two-tone construction. Google is adding more cameras to the rear of its phones. So far, the company’s software has helped it keep up with the competition, but there’s no denying that the Pixel 3 camera configuration lacks versatility compared to Samsung’s latest flagships. Additional Pixel 4 sensors will help fill this gap and will also attract the attention of more people. After all, most consumers these days believe that multiple cameras are better than one.
Another noteworthy feature is the new square camera module in the back. Despite what some people will say, the design was probably chosen because of the photographic results it produces. However, the design similarities with Apple’s iPhone 11 should help Google in the long term because consumers will accept their shape and size more.
As for the front panel design, what Google has planned seems to be much better than the Pixel 3 XL notch or the thick Pixel 3 frames. Furthermore, the area on the screen will be full of new and unique technology.
The Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 lineups were launched as Verizon exclusives, but at the beginning of May Google surprised us all by working with T-Mobile and Sprint to sell phones. The movement has helped make the Pixel 3a series a success and ultimately should help make the main options for Pixel 4 devices.
There Is No Guarantee That The Pixel 4 Series Will Succeed
Things seem quite positive for the Pixel 4 series than any of Google’s previous offerings, there is certainly no guarantee that next-generation smartphones will be a commercial success. As Motorola showed us in 2017, more operators and large marketing campaigns do not guarantee high sales.
Since the original Moto Z Force worked well in 2016, exclusively for Verizon, Motorola decided to expand the availability of the Moto Z2 Force the following year to include all the major operators. On paper, the movement made a lot of sense. The original phone has attracted the attention of consumers thanks to its exclusive Moto Mod and second-generation device based on this by adding a dual camera on the back and following many other trends. Combined with increased operator availability and a large marketing budget, the Moto Z2 Force seemed ready for success. But this never happened. Between its launch in August and the end of October, less than 150,000 units were shipped. By way of comparison, Apple and Samsung can sell this amount within a few hours of launch.
If Pixel 4 has lower performance, the future of Google’s smartphone business is at risk
In the end, only time will tell how consumers will react to the next Pixel flagship series. But if the launch fails to take Google’s smartphone business to the next level, does market competition really make sense to the company in the long run?
Google is investing millions this year in new technologies such as Soli project radars and completely new camera configurations for its next-generation smartphones. You’ll probably spend even more than ever to advertise Pixel 4 phones to consumers. But if sales are low, the profitability of the main business will undoubtedly be massively affected and the return on investment will be minimal. As a result, this can also affect the mid-range Pixel series.
Without a doubt, the company has a lot at stake this year. If Google plays its cards well and does not overestimate the demand, the Pixel 4 series could easily mark the beginning of a new era of growth. However, a wrong move could jeopardize the future of Pixel and potentially force a withdrawal from the segment, which would not be the first time for the Internet giant. Earlier this year, it officially abandoned the Android tablet market and focused its efforts again on the most profitable segments of smart speakers and Chromebooks.
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