Last year, Google released the Pixel and Pixel XL handhelds, which were generally well received by the public and critics alike. Both models sported modern specs, sleek designs and had features that were unique to its competitors. But while all these are true, the units are still trailing behind in terms of overall sales.
As USA Today reported, Google has actually received a generous increase in terms of its "other revenue" ventures, which include cloud computing, Google Pay, and hardware. The segment rose 62 percent to US$3.4 billion in the fourth quarter earnings report of Alphabet, the search engine giant's parent company. CFRA analyst Scott Kessler claimed that a large part of the profit was drawn from Pixel and Pixel XL sales.
More and more, it is becoming evident that Google wants to get its hands dirty with hardware. Up until last year, the company focused more on services and software, which several other tech companies used. However, the introduction of its smartphones, VR headset, and smart speaker are evidence that it is changing its tune.
The effort has been successful, as the internal numbers show. Evercore, an investment banking firm, estimated that some 552,000 Pixel phones were sold in the market, as well as 500,000 Google Home units. Ken Sena, who works with the company, estimated about US$808 million-worth of Google-branded hardware was sold.
The numbers are staggering but shy away from the sales of Google's biggest competitors. As The Wall Street Journal has pointed out, Apple sold 78 million iPhones between late September and December. Meanwhile, Samsung sold some 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 units before the model was effectively pulled out of the market.
Ramon Llamas, a research manager for International Data Corporation, has put these numbers into perspective. So while Google has done well, the company's market share is somewhere below one percent on the worldwide scale. The publication claimed that one of the largest problems has been that only Verizon sells the device. It remains to be seen whether or not the company will alter its strategy for the upcoming Pixel 2.