Google shipped 3.9 million Pixel phones previous year, IDC says

Enlarge  The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Ron Amadeo

Despite Google's decision to withhold Pixel shipment numbers, IDC has released its own estimates reflecting the device's "tiny" presence in the smartphone market. For Google, that's not too shabby for a newcomer - it's twice the number of Pixels from the year before - but overall it's still pretty weak, and a sign that there's a long road ahead before the company even comes close to challenging Apple and Samsung.

With the recent acquisition of one of HTC's smartphone teams, Google appears more committed than ever to being a smartphone hardware maker. The Pixel is still very much a niche phone for nerds.

Last month, the price of the first-generation Rs 76,000 Pixel XL "quite black" colour variant was slashed by Rs 36,000 on e-commerce platform Amazon in India. By contrast, Verizon is the only carrier selling Google phones in-store. That means Apple needed 4.6 days to sell 3.9 million iPhones - mind you, these aren't iPhone X units, as Apple did not divulge the actual split for the period.

Google's Pixel phones may be great phones with best-in-class cameras, but they won't be toppling Apple's iPhones or Samsung's Galaxy phones anytime soon.

The Pixel range debuted in 2016 and got a refresh late previous year, which brought us the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, so it's a relatively new brand when compared to iPhone and Galaxy S. Its availability is also limited to a handful of markets. Google seems to have improved its supply line issues with the Pixel 2, which has consistently been in stock. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Osterloh have shown how important the hardware business is for the company.

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