We’re still a ways away from any new flagship smartphones from Google. Many presume the search giant will announce at least two Pixel 3 smartphones later this year to showcase Android P and what it can do. However, according to a trusted source, Google is actively working on a mid-range Pixel phone that could release in emerging markets as early as mid-2018.
The rumored device is expected to include Pixel branding, but it may not include the third-generation moniker in the name that we expect on this year’s flagships. That’s because the device will sport mid-range specifications (not low-end) and be limited to only emerging markets. Google already has Android One and Android Go devices out in these territories, but a budget device with Android P that’s “Made By Google” might be what Google wants. Specific details remain unknown such as whether the devices will include the lightweight apps in Android Go or be more like the regular Pixel 2 phones we have now only with a more friendly price tag.
When the Nexus program was killed off in favor of higher-priced Pixel phones, those wanting a low-cost option from Google were left out. That’s why these other programs were created. Keep in mind though that the purpose of creating Pixel was to compete with high-end offerings from Samsung and Apple. In a way Google was trying to get away from having an option in every category to make a premium brand. But Google did not like the way Nexus was resonating in popular markets, so it started from scratch, spent millions in advertising, and acquired employees from HTC in building the Pixel brand as super high-end and complementary to other flagships out on the market at the time.
One could argue that by having low, mid and upper range Nexus devices, Google centralized the brand around the middle ground. The average consumer’s perception did not position Nexus phones alongside the latest iPhone and Galaxy. Pixel retrieved that attention, but many hit on Pixel 2 for wanting to be simple, but having drawbacks including faulty displays. If Google ends up making a mid-range Pixel, the same that happened to Nexus could happen to the Pixel brand. So while I’d like a mid-range Pixel phone, I think Google will do more harm to sales of its higher priced options than good for its new mid range offering.
Sources also suspect a launch of Google smart speakers and the Pixelbook in emerging markets, later this year. No specs or pricing on the upcoming Pixel phone have been revealed, but sources predict it could land as early as July or August. Maybe we’ll learn more next month at Google I/O.
SOURCE [The Verge]