Report: Google Phone Sales Up Dramatically Thanks to Pixel 3a


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Reports earlier this year painted a bleak picture for Google’s smartphone efforts. The Pixel 3 and 3 XL arguably had the best version of Android on board, but sales were down from the year before. Google needed to give its phones a boost, and the Pixel 3a reportedly did just that. A new analysis claims Google is again one of the fastest-growing smartphone makers on the back of the 3a. 

For most of Android’s history, Google didn’t care much about selling its own phones. The Nexus series was little more than a way to show off unblemished Android and promote the platform to developers. When Google got serious about selling phones, it reorganized everything under the Pixel brand. It now designs and maintains the phones itself, and new features like Duplex and Call Screen have come to Pixel phones first. 

Despite all that, Google admitted earlier this year that its phone sales were down. So, the improved third-gen Pixels were selling worse than the second-gen. Companies like Samsung or Apple can cope with declining sales because they’re huge, but Google didn’t have enough market share to be losing already. 

The Pixel 3 started at $800, and the 3 XL is $900, but both have been discounted in recent months. Google may have missed the mark on pricing because the cheaper Pixel 3a turned the entire operation around, according to Counterpoint Research. The firm says Google saw an 88 percent year-over-year sales increase in the second quarter of 2019. That’s short of OnePlus’ 152 percent growth but better than Motorola (53 percent) and Apple (14 percent). 

SmartphoneSEEAMAZON_ET_135 See Amazon ET commerce sales overall fell 1.5 percent in Q2 with companies like Samsung, ZTE, and LG seeing lower shipments. Virtually everyone has a smartphone now, and they’re using those phones longer before upgrading. The Pixel 3 didn’t convince people to upgrade, but it seems the Pixel 3a offered the right combination of price and features. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL offer almost all the features of the more expensive Pixels, but they start at just $400. 

Google also seems determined not to let history repeat itself with the Pixel 4. Even with the announcement a few months away, Google has taken the unusual step of posting teasers and talking about upcoming features like 3D face unlock and the radar-powered Soli gestures. We expect the Pixel 4 to debut in October, but maybe the Pixel 4a will be Google’s next major launch.

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Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone will have motion control and face unlock – gpgmail


Google’s Pixel 4 is coming out later this year, and it’s getting the long reveal treatment thanks to a decision this year from Google to go ahead and spill some of the beans early, rather than saving everything for one big final unveiling closer to availability. A new video posted by Google today about the forthcoming Pixel 4 (which likely won’t actually be available until fall) shows off some features new to this generation: Motion control and face unlock.

The new “Motion Sense” feature in the Pixel 4 will detect waves of your hand and translate them into software control, including skipping songs, snoozing alarms and quieting incoming phone call alerts, with more planned features to come, according to Google. It’s based on Soli, a radar-based fine motion detection technology that Google first revealed at its I/O annual developer conference in 2016. Soli can detect very fine movements, including fingers pinched together to mimic a watch-winding motion, and it got approval from the FCC in January, hinting it would finally be arriving in production devices this year.

Pixel 4 is the first shipping device to include Soli, and Google says it’ll be available in “select Pixel countries” at launch (probably due to similar approvals requirements wherever it rolls out to consumers).

Google also teased “Face unlock,” something it has supported in Android previously – but Google is doing it very differently than it has been handled on Android in the past with the Pixel 4. Once again, Soli is part of its implementation, turning on the face unlock sensors in the device as it detects your hand reaching to pick up the device. Google says this should mean that the phone will be unlocked by the time you’re ready to use it, since it does this all on the fly, and works from pretty much any authentication.

Face unlock will be supported for authorizing payments and logging into Android apps, as well, and all of the facial recognition processing done for face unlock will occur on the device – a privacy-oriented feature that’s similar to how Apple handles its own Face ID. In fact, Google will also be storing all the facial recognition data securely in its own dedicated on-device Titan M security chip, another move similar to Apple’s own approach.

Google made the Pixel 4 official and tweeted photos (or maybe photorealistic renders) of the new smartphone back in June, bucking the trend of keeping things unconfirmed until an official reveal closer to release. Based on this update, it seems likely we can expect to learn more about the new smartphone ahead of its availability, which is probably going to happen sometime around October based on past behavior.


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