Google seems to have sold more Pixel phones this year than it did last year. According to industry research firm IDC, Google’s Pixel shipments continue to grow but represent a small port of the overall smartphone market.
If numbers are anything to go by, Google is estimated to have shipped only 1.5 million units of the first generation Pixel phones and Francisco Jeronimo, Research Director at IDC, tweeted that the shipments have doubled in 2017. For Google, the Pixel phone business is mostly a hobby at this stage with the company relying extensively on its OEM partners for the device.
— Francisco Jeronimo (@fjeronimo) February 12, 2018
But Pixel phones are set to become a mainstay in the coming years as Google has invested $1.1 billion to acquire the smartphone and engineering talent from HTC. Rick Osterloh, the new chief of Google’s hardware division, seems prepared to take the business mainstream and make Pixel an important hardware product alongside offerings like Google Home smart speakers and other Assistant-based devices.
To be very precise, no one (including Google) are seeing Pixel as a business opportunity as big as that of Apple’s iPhone or Samsung’s Galaxy lineup at this moment but Google has shown that it can build great hardware. The problem with the first two generation of Pixel devices has been the lack of proper supply chain and manufacturing setup.
Google also lacked a proper chief for its hardware business unit and working with a lean system similar to its software business. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Osterloh have shown how important the hardware business is for the company. For Google, the future is one where it builds both its software and hardware and it would be mostly happy with the progress with the start.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are two of the best Android smartphones in the market right now. They also feature the best camera on any smartphone with features like improved low-light capability and a portrait mode that uses the best software algorithm and machine learning. However, the smartphone have faced a lot of issues since their launch in October last year and Google should be trying to curtail such issues to be taken more seriously and become a viable contender to iPhone in the coming years.