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Opinion | How many Pixel 3a phones has Google sold? A fun look at the numbers

The Pixel 3a XL. (Source: T3)
The Pixel 3a XL. (Source: T3)
Public opinion leans towards the Pixel 3a and 3a XL being Google's most successful phones yet but do the numbers agree? Well, mostly, but it may not be as impressive as most assume. Herein lies an attempt to figure out how many Google Pixel 3a phones the company sold since the debut of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL last year.
Ricci Rox,
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.
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Google launched the Pixel 3 and 3 XL back in October 2018, and followed them up with two mid-range phones, the 3a and 3a XL about six months after. It would appear that the Pixel 3a and 3a XL have been unequivocal successes, at least going by estimated sales numbers shared by analytics firm IDC.

According to IDC, Google shipped 7.2 million units of its Pixel phones in 2019, representing a 52% year-on-year increase in shipments. Those numbers supposedly also mean Google now ships more phones than OnePlus, which is a statement few would believe without doubt.

The real interesting part, however, is the numbers that can be extrapolated. Since the 7.2 million figure is a 52% year-on-year rise, that implies Google sold 4.7 million Pixels in 2018. Reports from a few weeks back claimed Google sold just over four million Pixel 3 phones in its first six months on the market. The Pixel 3 was launched in October, which assuming uniform sales, means Google sold two million units from January to March.

There are a lot of juicy bits in this story, including the fact that the Pixel 4 sold just 2 million units in its first six months, just over half the numbers of the Pixel 3 (not surprising) during the same period. 

- Daniel Bader

It's probably an optimistic figure, since the first months of sales are usually the best. The Pixel 4 phones, on the other hand, sold just two million units in their first six months. Also assuming an equal split, that implies a million Pixel 4 series units were shipped in 2019. 

  • Total sales for 2019: 7.2 million
  • Pixel 3 sales (Q1): 2 million
  • Pixel 4 sales (Q4): 1 million

This means that in Q2 through Q4, Google shipped in the region of 4.2 million Pixel phones, excluding Pixel 4 sales. Obviously, the Pixel 3a series accounts for most sales, with the only other phones sold within that period being the Pixel 3 series, and it's unlikely sales would've been substantial due to the existence of the Pixel 3a and 3a XL. 

While it's hard to say exactly how many Pixel 3a phones Google has sold, the numbers indicate that the company has sold well over four million units, with most of that figure coming in its first six months on the market; effectively matching the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. It's entirely possible that close to six million Pixel 3a and 3a XL units have been shipped since the phones were launched.

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Opinion by Ricci Rox
Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author.
Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - Senior Tech Writer - 1867 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I like tech, simple as. Half the time, you can catch me writing snarky sales copy. The rest of the time, I'm either keeping readers abreast with the latest happenings in the mobile tech world or watching football. I worked as both a journo and freelance content writer for a couple of years before joining the Notebookcheck team in 2017. Feel free to shoot me some questions on Twitter or Reddit if it so tickles thine fancy.
contact me via: @riccirox, LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 06 > How many Pixel 3a phones has Google sold? A fun look at the numbers
Ricci Rox, 2020-06-11 (Update: 2020-06-11)