Google admits trouble selling expensive Pixels, but it’s got a cheaper one coming soon

Google has a simple but subtle reason for its anticipated push in the mid-range smartphone market: there is a lot of competition in the high-end.

Next month, on the first day of its I / O developer conference, Google is expected to show its new and cheaper Pixel 3a and 3a XL. And in a profit call with reporters today, Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said that industry pressure on high-end phones led to lower pixel sales in the last quarter compared to the previous quarter. this time a year ago Porat specifically cited "some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market."

While Porat did not specify what those pressures are, we can assume that he is referring to greater competition from Apple and Samsung, as well as higher prices that reduce the demand of consumers and the main owners of smartphones that keep their devices for longer than the annual update cycles to which the mobile industry has been tied.

In a separate part of the call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was pressed over whether investors should worry that the company's hardware efforts were doing little to impact its overall revenue, which still largely depends on measure of its slowed advertising business. One analyst wondered openly about the call if the Pixel line was representative of Microsoft's failed smartphone business.

Google it does not break the revenue of its hardware-related products in its quarterly earnings reports, but the segment is growing despite mediocre phone sales, reaching nearly $ 5.5 billion in revenues in the last quarter. This could be due to the increase in sales of Chromecast devices, laptops, Google Home speakers and Nest products, among other physical devices that Google is now venturing into.

The Pixel 3, which was launched at a lower price than the flagships of Apple and Samsung, and came equipped with the best camera in its class, started at $ 799 and came in variants that raised its price to $ 999 Now, less than nine months after the device's launch, you can get a new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL for $ 200 off the Google online store. And in what is anything but a coincidence, the deal ends just before Google I / O begins.

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