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Google needs a full year to sell as many smartphones as Apple sells in a week

Published Feb 13th, 2018 7:45AM EST
Google Pixel vs. iPhone

All of Google’s recent moves prove that, more than ever, Google wants to be more like Apple. It wants to make the same high-end products Apple delivers, it wants to create its own custom hardware for them, it wants to control the software experience, and it even wants to improve user privacy.

The Pixel phone series is a testament to that, the pinnacle of Google’s ambitions to date. We do expect Google to improve the Pixel in future years and actually become a decent iPhone alternative, as both Pixel series have had to deal with plenty of controversies.

But the Pixel isn’t a massive commercial success for Google for the time being. The company needed a whole year to sell as many Pixels as iPhone units Apple sells in a week.

Data from IDC shows that Google Pixel sales doubled last year to 3.9 million, but still represents “a tiny portion of the 1.5 billion market size.”

Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the Christmas quarter for an average of 849.450 iPhones a day, per ZDNet’s math. That means Apple needed 4.6 days to sell 3.9 million iPhones — mind you, these aren’t iPhone X units, as Apple did not divulge the actual split for the period.

Some may say the comparison isn’t necessarily fair, as the Christmas quarter is Apple’s strongest quarter of the year. So let’s look at the average for the calendar year 2017. Apple sold 215.79 million iPhones during the period or an average of 591,205 iPhones per day. Apple would need 6.6 days to sell 3.9 million iPhones.

Google is expected to launch a new Pixel 3 smartphone this fall, with an all-screen design like the iPhone X and many Android devices. A report the other day said Google’s Android P will support iPhone X-like designs, which practically implies that the Pixel 3 will have such a design. Google is apparently looking to win over iPhone customers. Should that strategy work, IDC’s Pixel numbers for 2018 might look a lot better.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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