Despite "Pixel vs iPhone" Google phone sales are tiny

Otis Hoffman
February 15, 2018

While that's technically double the phones Google shipped in 2016, there's a fairly important caveat to take note of. Jeronimo said Google doubled its Pixel sales in the previous year.

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According to IDC, Google shipped 3.9 million Pixel smartphones a year ago, which is not a whole lot when you consider just how many tens of million of units the big players ship in a single quarter. Jeronimo notes that Pixel phones still only account for "a tiny portion of the smartphone market", and while that may be true, it's evident that Google is slowly on its way to become a real contender in this space. This will surely be welcome news for Google as it continues to grow the Pixel brand. When you delve a little deeper, though, it's perhaps not so clear-cut.

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The data comes from IDC's research director Francisco Jeronimo, who said the Pixel devices "continue to grow". In 2016, Google brought in former Motorola executive Rick Osterloh to lead its hardware division, which includes its Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices and Google Wi-Fi routers. The Pixel 2 phones were also launched in October 2017, with a bigger marketing push, and their shipments are included in the 3.9 million total.

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He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. While top devices from Apple and Samsung are widely available via all major wireless providers, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets can only be had through Google's online store or from Verizon (in the US). The Pixel and Pixel 2 devices are only available in up to eight countries, compared to the iPhone X, for example, that may be purchased in 70 countries. The company needs to figure out what makes the Pixel special. In comparison, between their release in April 2017 and August of the same year, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 plus sold 20 million units-and those were just two of the many phones released by Samsung that year.

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