6 Reasons Why Pixel 3 Series Failed Badly: Can Pixel 3A Do The Damage Control?
While Google enjoys a worldwide popularity for its software and services, the hardware section remains its biggest failure till date. The internet giant has tried really hard to make it’s smartphones go viral in the market, but the story came out different.
It still never has been able to match up to the likes of other flagships from Apple, Samsung or even Huawei, Google intended to.
The company is again set to launch a mid-range smartphone this May, Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL worldwide including India on May 8. Will that work?
We will come to that later.
First we need to understand why Pixel smartphones are not as successful as other flagships in the market. They are no bad phones, or priced way above the other flagships. Then what went wrong?
Today, we critically evaluate why Google has failed with Pixel phones, Pixel 3 XL being its biggest failure till date.
Google & Its Smartphones: What Went Wrong?
Pixel is not the first smartphones Google has manufactured. The company first forayed into making smartphones in 2010 with Nexus One. The smartphone was manufactured by HTC and released in January 2010 as the first Nexus phone. Released with Android 2.1 Eclair, it was its first entry into the smartphone category.
Later it continued with Nexus smartphones in association with HTC.
In 2015, then Google acquired Motorola for $12.5 billion. Google had more than 20,000 mobile patents at that time.
But later, Google sold Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion owing to the shrinking share and business.
The company also bought the manufacturing section from HTC to launch it’s own in-house Pixel handsets in 2016. HTC still manufactures smartphones for Google, the only difference is that, it now owns the HTC manufacturing section. LG also manufactures smartphones for Google.
Google Pixel Smartphones: Why So Ugly?
Don’t get me wrong, but Pixel smartphones are not good looking. They have some of the best software inside, but you can’t look that bad, especially Google Pixel 3 XL. The big wide notch on top surprised everybody. There are some great looking devices available in the same price range with same good features.
Even the last generation devices look somewhat terrible. They will lose badly if compared with some great looking smartphones from Apple, Samsung or OnePlus.
Android One & Stock Android On Other Devices
Google has partnered with multiple smartphone manufacturers to run their Android One program. All Nokia phones run on Android One. The Xiaomi Mi A series smartphones and some Motorola devices also run on the same program. They essentially offer the same Pixel experience with stock Android at very affordable prices.
It was Google who originally wanted to use stock Android in Motorola phones. It later became the biggest USP for Moto devices.
Even other manufacturers took it and used it to their advantage. The stock Android UI let customers use a budget Pixel smartphone with seamless Android experience.
Flagship Users Didn’t Switch To Pixel Smartphones
Google has repeatedly targeted iPhone users to switch them to Pixel. The company’s primary aim was to target the flagship users i.e the premium smartphone category. They tried to woo flagship smartphone users to use Pixel devices, but failed badly.
The premium segment is always driven by luxury featuring including design. They had to have good looking phones. They might have the best software, but the design failed them.
Hardly any flagship smartphone user from Samsung or iPhone switched to Pixel. Even the mid-end segment had the likes of OnePlus and Huawei, so it was a lost game for Google in there as well.
Targeting The Wrong Android Segment: Underestimated The Competition?
The Pixel devices are overpriced given the amount of competition available in the premium segment. Android users are largely the budget and mid-range smartphone users. The company wanted to take a pie of the premium Apple iPhone market share with great pure Android smartphones.
First of all, the section of the premium Android smartphone users is limited. Most of the premium smartphone users prefer iOS over Android. Even the ones preferring Android choose Samsung flagships like S series or Note devices over Pixel phones.
Secondly, the competition is brutal in Android mobile phone segment. If a user can experience seamless Android with a OnePlus at almost half the price, why would even they buy a Pixel? There are several competitors offering similar specifications at far lower prices.
Finally: Why People Buy Pixel 3A?
Google has confirmed the launch of Pixel 3A series in the country on May 8. So, will the upcoming 3A smartphones be able to do some damage control for Google?
The company has been pretty late in realising the potential of the mid-range segment.
Pixel smartphones are good, but they are overpriced given the competition available in the same Android space.
The Pixel 3A series being a mid-range offering could help Google find some safe space in the zone. Google has already made it public that the Pixel sales are shrinking.
OnePlus is going to be its closest rival in the section.
The smartphones will be available via Flipkart, a week before the upcoming OnePlus 7 series launch.
It’s really hard to comment whether the new Pixel 3A series will be able to take on OnePlus smartphones or not, but still they have some good chance now to go against some of the top Android smartphones.