The Pixel 3a helped Google double its year-on-year Pixel sales
Google’s hardware business is definitely unique. Initially conceived in 2016, Pixel devices have come with Google’s own software magic, which helps them make up for their lack of bleeding-edge specifications or their middling feature sets. Recently, the company opted to dip their toes in the mid-range smartphone scene with the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL. Despite having a specification sheet that barely suffices for a mid-range smartphone, and obviously does not come close to its elder brothers, the whole purpose of the Pixel 3a was to provide a comparable Pixel experience — complete with the exact same camera prowess as the Pixel 3 — but at a much cheaper starting price point.
This new Google experiment is definitely paying off well, and maybe even better than their flagship business so far. According to Alphabet’s latest Q2 2019 earnings call, overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than two times year-on-year after the launch of the Pixel 3a range of devices back in May. This growth is further complemented by the Pixel 3a’s expansion from Verizon to other major US carriers such as Sprint, T-Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and U.S. Cellular, something that has allowed Google to greatly expand its smartphone business in the United States. For comparison, in Google’s Q1 earnings call, the company admitted having trouble selling the Pixel 3 range of devices, so it’s safe to say that the cheaper Pixel is selling a lot better than its flagship counterpart.
“To make products work even harder for you, we’ve continued to invest in our hardware business, bringing together the best of Google’s hardware, software, and AI. At I/O, we introduced some new additions to our hardware lineup, including new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL. By taking advantage of our leading software capabilities, we can offer users a premium phone experience at a much lower price point. With the launch of the Pixel 3a in May, overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than two times year-over-year. In addition to Verizon and the Google Store, we successfully expanded our distribution to T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Spectrum Mobile, and additional partners, which has greatly diversified our sales footprint in the U.S. Finally, we are also pleased that the Pixel 3a launch was met with our highest Net Promoter Score rating to date.” – Mr. Sundar Pichai
Google’s upcoming Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are both set to be great departures from what Google is currently doing with the Pixel 3 range. If Google plays their cards right, and the factors that catapulted the cheaper Pixel to financial success (including carrier expansion) help out Google with its upcoming flagship, then we may be looking at a potential new hit from Google. Until then, though, we have the Pixel 3a range which is posing to be a complete success from the company.