IDC analyst, Francisco Jeronimo, tweeted recently regarding Google and Essential smartphone shipments. According to Jeronimo, Pixel shipments were double that of last year thanks to sales of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. The figure for Essential is very, very disappointing. It’s not often we hear sales figures for mobile devices, so we’ll take it for what it’s worth.
Google’s smartphone sales figure for 2017 is 3.9 million. Shall you consider the market consisting of over 1.5 billion people, this number is definitely minuscule. As for Andy Rubin’s company Essential, less than 90,000 units shipped during the six months after the phone’s release.
I can’t help but feel bad because to me these devices make up the embodiment of the true Android experience as Google designed it. The Google Pixel brand is still relatively new, and the Essential Phone has been around for less than one year. These numbers go to show just how saturated the smartphone market is. Well-established companies including Samsung and Apple have loyal fan bases and continue to carry much of the weight when it comes to market share. However, Chinese manufacturers will bring a fight in 2018 and seek to break the near duopoly.
Given the matured market and high level of competition in various places of the world, Google and Essential are experiencing a tough time carving a niche. We’ve also come to a point when mid-range phones are getting much better, powerful enough to satisfy many casual users. This has given to a rise in the premium mid-range sector. However, the price people are willing to pay for a smartphone continues to rise globally, and some companies are taking advantage with $1,000+ handsets. The price gap has never been wider, which makes selling smartphones all the more difficult.
To combat lower than expected sales totals, Google and Essential are taking action. Google and Verizon recently price slashed the Pixel 2 phones with a temporary $200 discount. Essential, on the other hand, is almost ready to roll out Android 8.1 Oreo, and just came out with three limited edition colors of the Essential PH-1.
What do you think of these numbers? There’s obviously a lot to discuss, so we’ll keep the comment section open. How you see the market and current circumstances will be reflected in your opinion. Personally, I kind of expected a little more from the two tech companies. Hopefully a better future lies ahead.