Who loves Google? From what I can tell, recently even Google employees are not love with their own company; maybe not as much as technology website writers who seem to think the company can do no wrong.
Who really cares about Google’s Pixel smartphones? It’s a short list. Google. Technology writers who love all things Google and hate all things Apple. And, uh, um, well– a few customers.
Beat? Or, Join?
Smartphone makers have an exhaustive list of component manufacturers and that makes it even more difficult to prevent leaks prior to a new product launch. Yet, Apple managed to pull off an always-on-display for Watch, so there are exceptions to the rule.
Google gave up the ghost. If you can’t beat the leakers, join ’em and leak even more than the leakers leak. That’s what Igor Bonifacic thinks took place with Google’s Pixel 4. The search engine giant has a hobby in hardware– obviously not serious about manufacturing anything in sufficient quantities to show on anybody’s list– and has decided to advertise an unannounced product.
The same day the company invited journalists to its October 15th event in New York City, Google put an ad up on the Marriott Marquis building in Times Square.
Ads first. Then product announcements. Since Google is more about software than hardware, that gives the company time to work on software before the hardware launch.
Hobbies are like that.
With how much the Pixel 4 has leaked in the past few months, Google has taken the novel approach of sharing tidbits of information about the phone ahead of launch.
Obviously, Google needs all the publicity– before a launch, during a launch, after a launch, and definitely before and after users begin complaining in public about hardware defects.
Hardware is hard. Software is, well, soft. If you can’t beat Face ID, try something different.
The company detailed the phone’s Soli functionality, which will allow you to use hands-free gestures to control some aspects of the device.
Hold your phone in one hand and use the other to navigate by waving it in the air. Novel yes, but still something of a two-handed approach to navigating.
Google has a problem.
80-percent or so of the world’s supply of smartphones run Google’s own Android OS; not much of the recent few versions, but plenty of older versions. The problem? Google cannot sell hardware at a time when smartphone hardware sales are dropping all over the world because saturation.
If the company really cared about hardware you might expect the company to make better hardware, right? Guesstimators think Google sold maybe 4-million Pixel smartphones in varying sizes and ages last year. Or, what Apple sold in iPhones last week.
Despite spending many tens of billions (with a big B) to diversify itself, the search engine giant remains what it has always been. A search engine advertising company. The giant part took a few years.
Google’s chief adversary remains the company’s inspiration. Apple, which not that long ago was synonymous with the Mac, has become a big fat rich chair with many rich legs. iPhone, Services, Mac, Wearables, iPad… you get the idea.
Apple is a hardware company. People want to buy Apple’s hardware. Google is a search engine that sells advertising. To get users to view the ads Google gives software away and makes hardware.
To date, I have never seen anyone in the wild with a Google Pixel smartphone. Samsung? Yes, of course. Google? Nope. I don’t think anyone but technology writers want anything to do with Google hardware.