In 2016, after nearly seven years of Nexus devices, Google finally started taking the smartphone market seriously. The Pixel series, which combines stock Android with great cameras and unique design, was announced as the company’s first right iPhone and Galaxy competitor in early October.
The first generation of devices performed relatively well in terms of sales, as their successor successors did in 2017. But the long-term growth that should have taken place last year was finally a big blow to the company. Due to low sales, Pixel 3 flagships have been permanently discounted, and only mid-range Pixel 3 is bringing positive results. Now, with less than three months on the Pixel 4 series, I believe the future of Google’s smartphone business depends mainly on its success.
Google’s first real effort to target mainstream customers
Although the Nexus line is significantly more prevalent in its replacement. Google’s Pixel series has never appealed to mainstream consumers like Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy for various reasons. But the company is trying to change that later this year.
Starting with the design, the official images and subsequent CAD-based renders confirm that Google is ditching its trademark dual-tone construction. I love this look from the very beginning, and I will miss it very much. But I understand that it is not for everyone and removing it makes perfect business sense as it will help to expand the appeal of the Pixel smartphone.
Google is also adding more cameras to the back of its phones. The company’s software has helped it compete so far, but Pixel 3’s camera setup lacks versatility compared to Samsung’s latest flagships. Additional Pixel 4 sensors will help bridge this gap and attract more people’s attention. After all, most consumers believe that multiple cameras are better than just one.
Another point worth pointing out is that the new square camera in the rear module. Despite what some may say, the layout has been chosen because of its photographic results. Nevertheless, the design similarities with Apple’s iPhone 11 should ultimately help Google in the long run as consumers will be more accepting of its shape and size.
Regarding the front panel design, what Google reportedly plans looks miles better than the Pixel 3 XL’s or the Pixel 3’s thick bezel. Plus, the area above the display will be full of unique, new technology. On the inside side of things, the Pixel 4 is unlikely to bring about significant upgrades that will change customers’ perception and ultimately boost sales. But one thing that will expand carrier availability.
The Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 lineups all started as Verizon exclusions, in early May Google surprised us all by partnering with T-Mobile and Sprint to sell phones. This step has helped make the Pixel 3A series a success and should ultimately help Pixel 4 devices make mainstream alternatives.
There is no guarantee that the Pixel 4 series will succeed.
Things are looking more favourable for the Pixel 4 series than any of Google’s previous offerings. However, there is no guarantee that the next-gen smartphone will be a commercial success. As Motorola showed us in 2017, more carriers and more extensive marketing campaigns do not guarantee strong sales.
Since the original Moto Z Force performed well in 2016, is a Verizon exclusive, Motorola decided to expand the availability of the Moto Z2 Force next year to include all major carriers. On paper, the move made perfect sense. The first phone caught the attention of consumers thanks to its unique Moto Mods and the second generation device created by adding dual-camera setup to the rear and following many other trends. Combined with broader carrier availability and larger marketing budgets, the Moto Z2 Force looks poised for success. But that never happened. With its August Gust release and the end of October quarter, about 150,000 units have been dispatched. For comparison, Apple Pul and Samsung can only sell this amount at launch.
Google is in a better position than Motorola when it comes to the premium market – it is the third-largest brand after Apple Pul and Samsung respectively – but it is facing some extreme competition in the form of the iPhone 11 triple and the Galaxy Note 10 pair. Because of this, the Internet giant also has to be very careful when it comes to pricing. Their cost will be very high, and they will risk damaging the sale, and they may be forced to permanently lower prices made with the Pixel 3 series, thus destroying the profits.