A few days before the Pixel 3 launch last October, we told you Google didn’t seem to sell that many Pixel phones, and that the Pixel 3 might not change any of that. Fast-forward to present day, and we have Google confirming that it’s been having a tough time selling expensive Pixel 3 handsets in the past quarter. Google didn’t offer any sales numbers but teased that new hardware is incoming.
Back in October, we used Google’s own statistics about Android versions out in the wild, combined with earlier estimates to conclude that Pixel 2 sales haven’t been that great for the company.
Thanks to Google’s just-released earnings report for the first quarter of the year, we now know that Pixel sales during the March 2019 quarter were even weaker than the same period last year.
Per The Verge, Google CFO Ruth Porat said that “some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market” are the reason why Google sold fewer Pixel phones last quarter.
Google CEO Ruth Porat says the company sold fewer Pixel phones due to industry-wide pressure on high-end phones.
— Janko Roettgers (@jank0) April 29, 2019
Ruth also teased the upcoming Pixel 3a and 3a XL launch, which is scheduled for May 7th, the first day of Google I/O 2019. “With respect to hardware results, while the first quarter results reflect pressures in the premium smartphone industry, we are pleased with the ongoing momentum for Assistant-enabled home devices, particularly the Home Hub and Mini devices and look forward to our May 7th announcement at I/O from the hardware team,” Porat said, via PhoneDog. Only a few days ago, Google teased a hardware announcement for May 7th, tying it with a Pixel 3 TV ad made for Avengers: Endgame.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai was “hammered” during a different part of the call about the company’s poor Pixel performance.
Pichai also got hammered on Google's hardware not representing significant revenues vs ads — esp as ads slow down. One analyst even asked if we had another Microsoft on our hands (!). (Pichai was defensive, said Google is committed for the long term, but eek.) https://t.co/4qTGvfOqHM
— Ingrid (@ingridlunden) April 29, 2019
While the Pixel line might not be a huge earner for Google, the company’s hardware division did register $5.5 billion in revenue, likely thanks to strong Google Home, Chromecast, and Nest products.