High-end Google Pixel 3 phone sales slow ahead of mid-range Pixel 3a model launch
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Google has revealed that its Pixel 3 flagship smartphones have sold in fewer numbers than for the same period last year. The revelation came during parent company Alphabet’s Q1 conference call when CFO Ruth Porat was responding to questions about whether Google’s hardware business adding worthwhile revenue to Google’s bottom line. Porat didn’t break out unit sales numbers but said that weak Pixel 3 sales was due to “some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market.”
Google’s Pixel smartphones have never sold in large volumes, so any kind of backwards step is hardly good news for the Mountain View company. The Pixel 3 line has received positive reviews for its stock Android interface and for the quality of the still images produced by its camera. However, the designs weren’t as well receive with reviewers noting the size of the bezels of the devices was out of step with the rest of the flagship smartphone segment, while the Pixel 3 XL was pilloried for the size of its display notch.
News of weak Pixel 3 sales also comes on the back of recent reports that the company has downsized its Pixelbook and Pixel Slate team also due to lackluster sales. Despite this, Google’s hardware revenue for the quarter was up at US$5.5 billion even if it is dwarfed by its $31 billion in advertising revenue for the same period. It suggests sales of its other devices including smart speakers and Google Home smart display are doing well. The forthcoming, and more affordably priced, Pixel 3a and 3a XL mid-range smartphones could help turn things around.