Today is the day Android fans have been eagerly awaiting for months. Google will finally take the stage on Wednesday and make its new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones official. While it’s true that most of the details surrounding Google’s second-generation Pixel phone lineup have already leaked, the full picture is never clear until a company reveals its finished products on stage. And yet one analyst is already calling Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL a flop, despite the fact that the phones don’t even exist yet.
You know you’ve got something special on your hands when the author of an article quotes himself. Such is the case with Atherton Research analyst Jean Baptiste Su’s contribution to Forbes on Wednesday morning. From start to finish, the article is a train wreck that makes bold assertions without offering any data or even logic to back them up.
Su calls the unannounced Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL “dull” smartphones that are a “major disappointment.” What’s so dull and disappointing about them? Let’s find out.
On the Pixel 2, Su writes:
Google’s entry-level Pixel 2 is made by fledgling Taiwanese company HTC and shares the same boring design aesthetic than last year’s model with a 5″ display, large top and bottom bezels and a single rear camera. However, it does add a faster processor, water resistance, and 2 front speakers. Price starts at $649 for 64GB of storage, only $50 less than the equally boring iPhone 8.
And on the Pixel 2 XL:
For its flagship device, Google hired LG to build the Pixel 2 XL, a pale copy of the South Korean phone maker own flagship device, the V30, unveiled over a month ago at the IFA tradeshow. The Pixel 2 XL has the same 6″ almost edge-less OLED display than the V30, the same 835 processor from Qualcomm, water resistance, 2 front speakers, just one rear camera again, instead of LG’s dual camera and no MicroSD card slot to expand the device’s memory storage. The price of Google’s new flagship device is $80 more than the original Pixel XL starting at $849 for 64GB of storage, about $50 more than the much more able LG V30 and $150 less than the iPhone X.
“So far, the main advantage Google really had over its rivals was that its smartphones were using stock Android, that is, the operating system as Google builds it and unaltered of any additional graphical layer or third-party software on top of it, which allowed Google to be the first to update its devices with the latest version of Android and security patches,” Su quoted himself as having said (🤦♂️). “But today others are also adopting Google’s pure Android strategy like Essential, Lenovo or Nokia and are sometimes even quicker than Google to update their device.”
The article is peppered with plenty of nonsense, the first example of which occurs as early as the second sentence, where the author states that HTC, founded 20 years ago and once ranked among the world’s top smartphone makers, is a “fledgling Taiwanese company.” Things get so crazy that at one point, Su suggests that Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL may even face serious competition from Essential, a barely-existent smartphone startup that has sold an estimated 5,000 handsets so far.
In the end, the author’s conclusion is likely accurate. Sales of Google’s second-generation Pixel phones won’t even approach sales of leading devices like Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy S devices. We’re not sure anyone on planet Earth ever thought Google’s phones would sell in numbers that approach the top companies in the industry, but Su is still correct. And because sales of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL won’t climb into 8-digit territory overnight, Su recommends that you “hold off on buying the Pixel 2.” K.