Is Google taking its smartphone business seriously?

Asia's Tech News Daily

#Android, #Google Nexus, #Google Pixel

One step forward, two steps back

Google’s history with hardware is riddled with great promises and unrealised potential. Ever since the introduction of Android in 2008, Google has tried to make an ideal showcase device for the software, a reference point for other manufacturers to take note of.

In the absence of big sales numbers, these phones amounted to little more than periodic flirtations from Google in the hardware space. The rapidly differing sales strategy between generations also confused the potential user base. Now with the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, Google is aiming at the high-end, but is it finally taking smartphones as a business seriously?

The Nexus era

Before the Pixels lit up Google’s phone range, Nexus was the marquee brand. Starting with the Nexus One, a collaboration with HTC, Nexus differentiated itself from other Android manufacturers by being a pure Google experience. It ran stock Android with no frills and would be the first-in-line for software updates.

The phone was also powered by great hardware and received positive critical reception. Its failure to sell would become a template that Google would struggle to break free from. In hindsight, the problems were apparent. Poor marketing choices, unclear strategies and an aversion to stepping on the toes of other Android device manufacturers made it a tough sell. In fact, the Nexus One only sold 20,000 units in the first week.

The problems continued with the Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus. While technology enthusiasts liked the idea of a pure version of Android, normal users did not seem to care. Worse, the explosion of Android devices on the market began diluting the Google brand. On paper, the Nexus phone offered great value but as a brand, poor marketing and an online-only sales model meant that there was no attachment with regular users. It was a weird disconnect, phones that were priced aggressively and meant to appeal to the price-conscious, couldn’t find an audience.

Nexus 4 was hit with supply problems out of the gate that halted any momentum it might have had. It ended up selling less than 400,000 units in the first three months.

Nexus 5 is the only outlier in the series. Google did everything right with the phone, a strong marketing campaign that grabbed eyeballs and characteristically aggressive pricing, one that was seen as a bargain at the time. Production issues kept sales from being higher, but the LG collaboration was a runaway success. All Google needed to do was to follow this template for the next launch. What did it do? It went in a completely different direction.

Nexus 6 was a phablet developed in collaboration with Motorola that was pricier than the previous generation. Google was trying to make Nexus more premium but, production issues and general lack of interest meant that the company was back to square one.

The 5X and the 6P became the last phones in the Nexus line before Google gave up on the project.

The premium Pixel line

In 2016, Google introduced the Pixel. It was clear that Google wanted a share at the premium market with these phones. They were pricier and exquisitely built. One mistake Google made with the Nexus line was the absence of defining characteristics that set it apart from other Android phones.

It effectively killed itself when Google increased the price, which meant it funnelled prospective buyers further. With the Pixel and Pixel XL, Google came swinging out of the gate with a camera system considered one of the best in the industry. With subsequent Pixel releases, Google improved the camera even further.

While Pixel and Pixel XL sold well out of the gate, the momentum slowed down not long after that. India had been a strong market for Google phones but the price increase dramatically reduced potential customers. Production issues and tame sales expectations from Google themselves meant that the Pixel phones began tapering off after a strong start.

Like the Nexus phones, Pixel hardware has failed to credibly compete in the premium market. Worse, it has abandoned India as a market beginning, with Pixel 4.

So, what has been going wrong?

The main problem is Google itself doesn’t seem to take its hardware seriously. It has had two line-ups of devices and over a decade of making smartphones with nothing to show for it. The marketing strategy has also flip-flopped massively between generations. What started as aggressively priced devices meant for developers has now morphed into a pseudo premium line that doesn’t seem to have a clear strategy of what it wants to be. Poor advertising has also played a part.

Now, with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google finds itself in the uneven middle ground, somewhere between premium and mid-range. At $599, the new phones undercut much of the competition.

With more than a decade of devices under their belt, Google still feels like it’s experimenting to see what works. It continuously flip-flops between pricing and strategy with each release. At this point, it feels like Google is throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Crypto exchange BitMart vows to compensate for $205 million hack

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – Crypto exchange BitMart will use its own funding to compensate users affected in a security breach that saw hackers withdraw about US$150 million (S$205 million) of ... Read more »

Google Pixel phones are getting another round of feature updates

Back when Google launched the Pixel 6 and the Pixel 6 Pro, we heard about a few features that were “coming soon” – and some of those features are now ... Read more »

Activision Blizzard's Call Of Duty game testers plan walkout over job cuts

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) – A group of workers at an Activision Blizzard division supporting the Call Of Duty franchise plan to call out of work Monday (Dec 6) in protest ... Read more »

Forza Motorsport car list, news and rumors

Forza Motorsport is the upcoming eighth entry in Microsoft’s long-running racing game franchise and while we don’t know when it’ll release just yet we’re expecting it to be a true ... Read more »

Starfield: release date, trailers, exclusivity and everything you need to know

Starfield, the long-awaited new IP from Bethesda Game Studios, is coming to Xbox PC in 2022 and it looks set to take us on an epic sci-fi adventure. Starfield details ... Read more »

The Xbox Windows app will soon tell you how well games will play on your PC

Microsoft is testing a new feature in the Xbox App for Windows that will let you know how well a game should run on your PC. The feature is currently ... Read more »

Snag a Gravity Blanket for a massive discount during this huge holiday sale

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. If you’re searching for a calming gift that will offer your ... Read more »

WhatsApp is adding this new functionality to disappearing messages feature

WhatsApp is giving users more control for its disappearing messages feature. Facebook-owned WhatsApp says that users will now have the option to turn on disappearing messages automatically for all their ... Read more »

TikTok secret algorithm is a big 'Duh!'

TikTok’s powerful algorithm steering the social media activity of millions of daily users is no longer a mystery. In a new New York Times report that outlines information gleaned from ... Read more »

BioWare confirms commitment to making Dragon Age 4 ‘single-player focused'

Dragon Age 4 developer, BioWare, has confirmed that the game will be a “single-player focused experience.” The confirmation comes by way of a recent blog post celebrating Dragon Age Day, ... Read more »

Lack of Workforce Insight Is Killing Your Business

There’s no denying that the future of work is all about flexibility. As employees, we love being able to replace lengthy commutes with more focused time when working from home, ... Read more »

You can now be part of the new social network, Woonkly, which will be based on NFt and metaverses

The new social network Woonkly seeks to bring together the world of Blockchain and reality. Unlike the social networks that we already have, Woonkly is based on NFT and metaverses ... Read more »

How AI Solutions Can Improve the Travel and Hotel Booking Experience

Regardless of what Covid-19 has in store this winter, the travel industry is looking ahead to 2022 and remaining hopeful for a robust recovery. But even as travel bounces back, ... Read more »

Shop Ulta Beauty's Holiday Beauty Blitz and take 50% off makeup, hair and skincare gifts

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission. Holiday shopping just got a festive makeover thanks to the month-long ... Read more »

Dell Precision 7560 Workstation review

Two-minute review The Dell Precision 7560 is the latest in Dell’s line of portable workstation laptops, which have a reputation for being extremely powerful, but expensive. The multi-faceted line leans ... Read more »

Why we can't charge lithium-ion EV batteries in a few minutes

Extremely fast charging of our EVs would be a dream come true, right? Just imagine rolling up to a charger and juicing up your battery within mere five minutes, or ... Read more »

The start of a new era for Microsoft Teams is here

Microsoft has rolled out an update for Teams that will change the way many people collaborate with colleagues and perform their daily tasks on the platform. The update introduces functionality ... Read more »

The Game Awards has 'four or five' things as big as the Elden Ring reveal

This year’s The Game Awards will have a handful of big reveals on the scale of the Elden Ring reveal at Summer Game Fest, according to host and producer Geoff ... Read more »

How to make a League of Legends kids can play, according to Disney Melee Mania's developers

In the two years since Apple Arcade launched, it’s collected over two hundred family-friendly games that are lighthearted takes on gameplay genres that are usually pretty intense. Its next game, ... Read more »

How to upgrade your PS4, PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro hard drive

Are you tired of deleting games from your PS4 library? Then it may be time to upgrade your hard drive. Some games – we’re looking at you, Call of Duty ... Read more »

Omicron v Delta: How do variants compare on infectiousness and effect on Covid vaccines?

A woman receives her Covid-19 booster jab (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Wire) The emergence of the new coronavirus variant Omicron has already affected travel rules and seen a return to mandatory ... Read more »

New Matrix Resurrections trailer revives the past to deliver a new puzzling future

The Matrix Resurrections has received a new trailer ahead of its release later this month – and it looks absolutely stunning, even though it leaves us with more questions than ... Read more »

There's never been a worse time to own a Roku streaming stick

If you’ve recently bought yourself one of the best Roku streaming sticks – as many of you may have, during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – then you ... Read more »

Donald Trump's new site wants to take on AWS as well as Facebook

The social media firm founded by former US President Donald Trump is looking to shake up large areas of the technology sector, it has claimed. As reported by the BBC, ... Read more »

F1 racer Daniel Ricciardo blasted over ‘ignorant' comments on anti-LGBT+ Saudi Arabia

Formula One racer Daniel Ricciardo has been criticised after admitting his “ignorance” amid backlash over Saudi Arabia’s LGBT+ and human rights record. Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever Grand Prix on ... Read more »

Fortnite Chapter 3 adds a new map and Spider-Man content

Fortnite has received some major content with Chapter 3 – after a pretty spectacular chapter 2 finale – that brings a whole new map to the popular battle royale game. ... Read more »

Enloop review

Business planning tools come in various forms, and they’re typically recommended for both beginners and experienced entrepreneurs alike nowadays. If you’ve never used one before, it can take a while ... Read more »

Halo Infinite is thankfully getting more multiplayer modes before 2022

Even though Halo Infinite’s campaign lands on December 8 for Xbox Series X/S and PC, it looks like it won’t be the only piece of content keeping Halo fans occupied ... Read more » review

Formed in 1997, (also known as Namesco) has long been one of the top domain registrars in the UK. However, it also offers a whole variety of web hosting ... Read more »

Massive Amazon deals: Echo, Fire tablets, Kindle, Blink Mini, Fire TV stick, more

If you missed out on Black Friday, fear not. Amazon is offering massive deals right now on its best-selling devices, including the Echo Dot, Fire tablets, Kindle, Blink security cameras, ... Read more »

Could we store carbon in pools of brine underneath the seabed?

Ecological catastrophy It’s one of the more ambitious ideas in terms of dealing with carbon dioxide – burying it in pools of salty water beneath the seabed. Such an idea ... Read more »

The UK's policing bill will make climate activism almost illegal – just when it's most needed

The UK government has proposed some worrying amendments to its already draconian policing bill. The amendments will directly target environmental activists and are a response to direct action protests from ... Read more »

Trump social-media venture under scrutiny by US regulators

The Associated PressFILE – In this July 24, 2021, file photo former President Donald Trump smiles as he pauses while speaking to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in ... Read more »

Bitcoin 'flash crash' sees long positions worth $2bn closed by exchanges

The world's largest cryptocurrency licks its wounds following another plunge downwards during which it lost more than a fifth of its value at one stage. Read more »

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part 1 trailer – 8 things you may have missed

Potential spoilers follow for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part 1. It’ll be time to return to the Spider-Verse soon. And no, we’re not just talking about Spider-Man: No Way Home. ... Read more »

What we know about Biden's Alliance for the Future of the Internet

A new frontier in the battle for the web may emerge this week. At a virtual “Summit for Democracy” hosted by President Joe Biden, the White House is expected to ... Read more »

This could be the world's first DDR5 laptop, but you'd never guess who built it

Embattled Chinese manufacturer Huawei is not giving up on laptops – at least not yet. Although the company’s MateBook X Pro, MateBook 14 and MateBook D15 were amongst the more ... Read more »

It looks like we really are getting Nvidia RTX 3000 Ti GPUs for laptops at CES 2022

Recently, we’ve been seeing rumors about refreshed mobile GPUs from Nvidia that will be based on its latest high-end graphics cards like the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti. ... Read more »

Apple's headset may come with these specialties

The rumoured Apple AR headset was claimed to have “interchangeable lenses” and a “complex, expensive-to-build” design, by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman earlier. Now, he has more to say on the AR/VR ... Read more »

10 Google search tricks to help you find what you're looking for

How often do you turn to Google? Every day? Multiple times a day? If you’re focused on privacy, there are better options. Tap or click for alternatives to Google that ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic