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Google teases a cheaper Pixel phone launch as it confirms pricey Pixels still don’t sell very well

Published Apr 30th, 2019 6:50AM EDT
Pixel 3a Release Date
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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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.

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.

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.

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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