- Google unveiled its latest smartphones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Oct. 9.
- The new smartphones cost less than the latest Apple smartphones.
- The product announcement did little to boost Google shares, which suffered after a recently revealed data breach.
Google unveiled the latest edition of its smartphone during a live-broadcast worldwide media event on Oct. 9, 2018. The company announced the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the next generation of Google phones after the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are priced at $799 and $899, respectively.
The new phone announcements did not appear to boost Google stock. The company is still reeling from a massive data breach that was so severe Google closed its Google+ platform — although a shortage of Google+ users seemed to make that decision easier, too. As of the morning of Oct. 9, 2018, shares were still trending downward, having closed at $1155.92 on Oct. 8.
Google’s New Pixel Not Enough to Compete With Apple iPhones
Google began to ship phones in 2015 in an attempt to go head-to-head with Apple in the smartphone market.
The results have been less than spectacular. Google shipped 2.4 million of the first Pixel devices in the nine months ending on June 30, 2017. One year later, as of June 30, 2018, the company had shipped just 2.53 million Pixel 2 and 2 XL devices. This number represents less than 1 percent of the global smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics.
Part of the problem seems to be that Google tried to dip its toe into the water rather than diving right in. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL were sold in just six countries, whereas the latest Apple iPhones were launched in 50 countries. But in the U.S. market alone, shares of Google phones are less than 2 percent, compared to Apple’s approximately 54 percent and Samsung’s approximately 25 percent from September 2017 to September 2018. Problems also plagued the Pixel 2 at its release, including bugs and a crashing camera app, despite its camera being considered one of the best available.
Google Undercuts iPhone Prices and Touts Better Camera
Google provides Android software for free, which is what the majority of smartphones run on. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch display screen, and the Pixel 3 XL boasts a 6.3-inch display. With these phones, the front speakers are 40 percent louder, and the screen is expected to be a big improvement over the much-maligned Pixel 2 screen. Google touts the Pixel 3’s camera as being “generations ahead of other phones.”
With Google’s new phones priced at $799 and $899, the newest iPhones are considerably more expensive — the iPhone X, with a 5.8-inch display, starts at $999, and the iPhone X Max, which has a 6.5-inch display, starts at $1,099.
Want to Lower These Costs? 4 Tips to Dramatically Reduce Your Phone Bill
Google’s Home Hub Aims to Compete With Amazon’s Echo
Another product that was announced at the event was the Google Home Hub, which includes a built-in speaker and the Google smart assistant. It also has a built-in display and allows voice control of smart home devices. It’s a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo Show. Google has more market share in this product space than in smartphones since Google has shipped 18.3 million smart speakers in the year ending June 30, compared with 21.5 million from Amazon.
Still, investors don’t seem to be particularly impressed with the product announcements. Stock in Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was down $5.20 or 0.45 percent shortly after the announcement.
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