Missing part of Google’s Pixel puzzle

Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this before: Google is going to be serious about hardware.

Yes, yes – I know. I’ll pause for a second when you get your calm back.

You see, I’m a big fan of what Google is trying to do with Pixel products. If you’ve been reading my Ramblings for a long time (or have seen NSFW multicolored “P” – logo tattoos on various parts of my person), you know how I feel about Pixel’s place in the Android ecosystem and the important role it plays. (I’m just joking about tattoos, anyway.) (For now.)

But the truth is that we’ve been hearing the line “Google is going to be serious about hardware” for a long time now – over and over again. At a certain point, you have to ask: “Oh, gang? When does it actually start ?!”

Today is that day. I am asking publicly here and now. But so am I. Be careful Expressing optimism that the answer is a resounding one: “Right now – for the reality of this time.”

All hot air aside, there is only one way that hope can happen. And for that, Google will have to overcome a major challenge that the company has yet to show any signs of preparing to close.

Allow me to explain.

Pixel perspective

First, here’s a few key points to set the stage: It’s important to remember that Google’s ambition to make hardware technically extends to pre-pixel days. In addition to its (mostly) fan-focused Nexus phones, Google has made its own Chromebook Pixel products since 2015. It has been making a variety of Chromecast-branded streaming duo since 2013 And that was, the extraordinarily short-lived Nexus question …Events About 2012 (but we won’t talk about it).

That’s when El Googster pivoted the Pixel phone plan, though, things really did turn out. That’s when the hardware becomes a low Hobby And one more Business. And not only that, we’re convinced, but it also marks the beginning of hardware becoming a core part of Google’s broader business. Plan For the future of the company.

“Fundamentally, we believe that many of the innovations we want to make now need to control the end-user experience,” Rick Osterloh, then-new head of Google hardware, told The Verge in 2016, launching the first-generation Pixel phone model. Nearby.

And then there are these frequently quoted quotes from the same article:

Osterloh knows that “we’re definitely not going to make huge volumes out of this product. This is the first innings for us.” The metric of Google’s success for the Pixel is not whether it picks a significant market share, but whether it can achieve customer satisfaction and build the retail and carrier partnerships that Google can gain for the coming year.

All right. Cool. So 2016 started. What about 2017?

At the time, Google hardware was “no longer a hobby.” Next Osterloh-interview-driven article has been announced in The Verge.


Last year there was an upcoming party for Google Hardware. This year is something different. It’s a statement that Google is serious about turning hardware into a real business on a large scale – maybe not this year.

Gotcha. Oops! Then:

While Osterloh hopes that Pixel “will become a big, meaningful business for the company over time”, not its benchmark sales at the moment, it is “consumer satisfaction and user experience.” So I ask: what will happen in five years? “We don’t want it to be a special thing,” Osterloh said. “We expect to sell high volume products in five years.”

In five years. That was 2017. And now, it’s 2022. Here we are.

Pixel probability

Since we’re close to the half-decade mark of Google’s last “critical” moment, it seems safe to say that pixel adoption is not where Google expected it to be at this point. Most market share analysis shows that Google has so few shares in the US mobile market that it rarely confirms its presence in the official-looking line graph. “Low single-digit percentages” would be the most polite way to add a brand status so far

The problem is certainly not its advantages over Pixel products or other Android options, especially from a business standpoint. The Pixel Phone is the only Android device that receives timely and reliable operating system and security updates, even when they are one or two years old, without any problematic asterisks – you know, annoying little things like privacy policy that allow the device maker to share your personal information. To collect and sell.

On a more explicit level, the Pixel line has some amazing features that no one else comes close to matching – Google’s AI-powered hold-for-your-phone system, things like Genie and spam on the Pixel-exclusive phone-table, -Pixel call filtering And discontinue screening technology. And that’s all just beginning.

So what? Okay, it’s almost ridiculously simple: the average skomo needs to know all these things. People who buy phones and obviously inhumane creatures who are the head of the company’s IT department should also be aware that pixel products ExistsFirst and foremost – and then they need to understand why they are worth considering the more commonly known Android phone options.

So far, Google has done a pretty bad job of making this happen. My long-term exercise is to take a pixel-exclusive feature and imagine if Apple got its dirty virtual claw on the same thing. Imagine how Apple would market it if the next iPhone had AI-enabled call screening, effective RoboCall-blocking technology, or a future hold system for you. They will all be innovative, groundbreaking, Magician and revolutionary Game-changers, garish it! These can be life-changing revelations available “on iPhone only” (because when someone avoids using articles in disguise when mentioning their products, you know they have to be important).

Simple and easy, we will never hear the end of it. And with Google? Google has received those products right now How many non-tech-obsessed people do You Who among them knows who is aware?

Marketing has never been Google’s strength, to put it mildly. But now, as we move closer to those “high volume” goalposts five years later, we can only hope that someone at the company realizes that just the exceptional experience isn’t enough to bring the public on board with what you’re doing.

You need to make sure they know about it. This is the real challenge for Google to make the Pixel brand important – and if it wants to show us that it is really ready to take hardware seriously.

Don’t let yourself miss an ounce of Pixel magic. Sign up for my free Pixel Academy e-course To discover many hidden features for your favorite Pixel phone.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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