Google introduced the Pixel in October 2016, marking its official move into mobile devices. More than a year later, the Pixel and its sequel, the Pixel 2, have yet to catch on the way Google hoped. According to IDC’s research director Francisco Jeronimo, Google sold only 3.9 million Pixel devices in 2017.
That figure is nothing more than a footnote when compared to the iPhone—Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in 2017. But it is a sign of growth for Google, even though it is by very small increments. Google’s market share went up from 1.8-percent to 2.8-percent last year.
Sales numbers wise, the Pixel isn’t setting the world on fire, but it’s not because the devices aren’t any good. The Pixel features solid build quality, a software experience that is arguably the best of any Android device and the best smartphone camera around.
Building up a competitor to compete with Apple and Samsung is easier said than done. Give Google credit, it is doing a far better job than Essential, which only sold 88,000 phones in its first six months. And its commitment to continue building its own smartphone hardware for the long haul with the purchase of HTC’s design team bodes well for future growth.
Where the Pixel runs into many of its issues is with availability.
Google also has to find better ways to market the Pixel. It’s still running into supply issues whenever it releases a new iteration and at present moment, you can only buy the Pixel devices through one carrier, that being Verizon.
If Google fixes some of those issues, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see the Pixel’s numbers jump significantly in 2018.