For all the attention that Services gets, Apple remains a hardware company. For all the tens of billions of dollars wasted on diversification, Google remains what is has always been. An advertising company. So, guess who makes the latest iPhone Killer™?
Trade Me, Baby
Here’s the smartphone deal in a nutshell. Apple’s iPhones make the most money. Samsung’s Galaxy models are a distant second place. Google’s latest– the Pixel 3 and Pixel XL– sold fewer than last year’s models. So, how does Google plan to get back in the game?
First, it just launched a 2016 Pixel with a 2018 camera at almost half the price of a new iPhone XR, and has it aimed at Apple’s customers who have yet to upgrade to something new. Eli Blumenthal has the basics:
People looking to upgrade from an old iPhone, however, may find Google’s latest even more tempting. The search giant is taking roughly $250 off the price of a 3A or 3A XL if you’re willing to trade in an iPhone SE, 6 or 6S, with the number increasing to as much as $610 for those looking to trade in an iPhone XS Max.
Translation: “We are really desperate to move these puppies.”
Google seems to fare far better in the smartphone world among members of the technorati elite politburo that is has among customers. Pixel sales have always been anemic and at such low numbers probably a loss leader for Google. So, what should the company do to fight back against Apple and Samsung?
The Google stamp of approval has come to be synonymous with a phone that delivers on the things that matter. It might not have the glamour of a Galaxy or the instant appeal of an iPhone, but the Pixels are still considered among the finest phones on the market, mainly for three reasons: Assistant, Android, and computational photography.
Translation: “Good camera.”
As to stamp of approval, that seems to have arrived only from technology writers and not customers. One estimate indicates that Apple sells as many iPhones in a week as Google sells Pixels in a year.
Google Pixel is just another Android smartphone iPhone Killer wannabe and after a decade of many dragon slayers, the dragon still rules. After all, there is not much software differentiation between the hundreds of Android smartphone brands, right?
With software that shines that brightly, what Google’s really selling here is a platform, while the phone is just the vessel. Now Google is bringing that platform to a much cheaper phone.
Will it matter? No.
Why not? There are many cheap Android phones already on the market and Apple and Samsung still rule where it counts. Total revenue and profits, and total number of smartphones sold.
On paper, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL have pretty ho-hum specs
It’s a 2016 Pixel smartphone with a 2018 Pixel camera and that explains the lower price.
Yet, members of the technorati elite politburo, who fall all over themselves for the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold and Huawei’s Mate and Google’s Pixel have identified yet another iPhone Killer™.
The Pixel 3a is a stroke of genius, taking the best parts of a phone that’s out of reach for most people and putting them in an extremely affordable package. For the first time, the Pixel can be seen for what it is: beautiful on the inside.
Product marketing has certain axioms. One of them is differentiation. If you want to unseat the industry leader, then you need a product just as good and must sell it for less. Or, as was the case with Apple’s original iPhone, you must have a much better product at about the same price.
Google Pixel 3 and XL were not better devices and not much less expensive than comparable iPhones. Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL are less expensive, but not as good as true flagship smartphones.
iPhone Killer? Color me jaded. Again.