Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Google is good at building phones but bad at selling them

Google is good at building phones but bad at selling them

Google Pixel smartphones are nice, but that would not matter much if customers are not able to purchase them. Its smartphones compete against the best the market has to offer, featuring cutting-edge hardware, vanilla Android and, unlike many of its droid-toting siblings, three years of support.

However, IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report (via @fjeronimo) suggests that sales of Google Pixel devices doubled in 2017, reaching a total of 3.9 million units.

Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the Christmas quarter for an average of 849.450 iPhones a day, per ZDNet's math. IDC's Francisco Jeronimo has been spilling the sales stats on the Pixel range, and the good news is that Google is on the right trajectory.

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Google debuted the Pixel, the search giant's first branded phone, in October 2016, and unveiled the second generation of the device exactly one year later. In addition, there are 499 Apple Stores spread out in 22 countries, while Google relies on occasional pop-ups and its online Google Store, with no constant physical retail presence. Google seems to have improved its supply line issues with the Pixel 2, which has consistently been in stock. That's not a massive number, but it shows great growth for the company's lineup.

That means, as a rough estimate, it would take less than a week of iPhone sales to eclipse Google's entire 2017 Pixel shipments.

One thing not many people will realize is that Google's smartphone pricing is even more high-end than Apple's, though. A big marketing push would definitely help, and so would distribution through major carriers.

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