Google hopes to double Pixel sales in 2023

According to the Nikkei Asia Review, Google is asking its supply chain to deliver 8 million units of the just announced Pixel 7 line. It is also asking suppliers to prepare four million units of a budget Pixel phone that would be released early next year as it seeks to double sales of its smartphones in 2023. Pre-orders for the new handsets, priced at $599 and up for the Pixel 7 and $899 and up for the Pixel 7 Pro, start today with the phones being released next week.
In addition, Google unveiled the long-awaited Pixel Google Watch which is priced at $349 and $399 for the Wi-Fi and cellular models respectively. And Google also previewed the Pixel Tablet which will be released next year. Google is working to complete what it calls the Pixel portfolio which currently includes the Pixel handsets, the Pixel Buds true wireless earbuds, and now the Pixel Watch.

According to analytics firm Canalys, shipments of Pixel phones reached 6.2 million units during the second half of 2021 through the first half of 2022. That was a healthy increase of 130% from the 2.7 million Pixel units shipped during the same time period the previous year. Canalys analyst Runar Bjorhovde says, “Google has invested significantly into a few key markets where it has been able to grow significantly. The U.S. is the best example of this.” The analyst adds that the Pixel is also doing well in the U.K. and Japan.

Wayne Lam, senior director of research at CCS Insight says, “When Google mentioned that Pixel 6 was the bestselling Pixel ever, it’s definitely a good sign, meaning that they’re starting to get scale. But they’re still very, very small and would obviously have a higher penetration rate in the U.S. market, but in international markets, they wouldn’t even register. It took six generations for them to finally get into the tens of millions of units. It’s still a very, very slow ramp.”

Lam noted that Google might be handicapped because increasing Pixel sales could complicate the company’s relationship with competitors that use Google’s Android operating system. “For Google, hardware is just a means to show off and promote their software and software businesses,” Lam added. “Pixel served as a showcase of everything Google, all of its AI capabilities.”

Despite the increase in shipments, Pixel phones are hardly a threat to Apple or Samsung right now. Last year, the latter shipped more than 272 million Android phones while Apple delivered close to 236 million iPhone units in 2021.

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