Why Google will sell fewer Pixel 2s than Apple’s new iPhones

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Don’t get me wrong. The Pixel 2, just like last year’s Pixel will be a stellar device. It will
embody everything best in Android
, and Google will include some exclusive smartness in the phone. The camera on the Pixel 2 will be just as good as the original Pixel, if not better. We are guessing it will most definitely be better. And it’s near edge-to-edge display, as rumoured, along with a
new Active Edge feature
will make the phone an attractive choice amidst a lot of competition. But one thing the Pixel 2 will not be able to do, is pull off an entry as grand as the iPhone X.

Surely, once the phone will be out, the internet will be
inundated with rave reviews
of the Pixel 2. Critics and reviewers will perhaps
hail the Pixel 2’s camera as the best and the Android optimisation will be considered stellar
. The new features will be praised and owners of third-party Android phones will wait with bated breath for Android 8.0 Oreo.

But how many people will buy the Pixel 2 in the end? If history stands witness, not many. Even last year, Google sold only 2.8 million Pixel devices. In the same time, Apple sold 200 million iPhones. You can argue Apple had a decade long head start and Google is relatively new in the hardware business. But Google is just as big a brand as Apple.

The real reason why the Google Pixel 2 is will not be able to match up to the iPhone X is because Google does not have the manufacturing capacity to produce as many units as Apple. Google is new to the hardware business and doesn’t have the ability to scale up manufacturing to meet demand. The critically acclaimed Google Pixel XL
struggled to be in stock for months
last year.

But more than that, Google is failing to generate demand for its phones as Apple does. The iPhone X was a blockbuster even before it hit the stores. And that’s because Apple turned the iPhone into a status symbol, an aspirational buy. Like the Nexus phones, the Pixel remains the choice of nerds and enthusiasts. Google’s marketing of the phones rings well with people who actively pursue new technology. Apple, on the other hand, markets its products as lifestyle upgrades.

If leaked renders and rumours are to be believed, the Pixel 2 will have the best processor, a high screen resolution, lots of sensors and a kickass camera. But it will essentially look the same as the last one, and the rumoured
new features like Active Edge
will not really be the dealbreaker. When people are out buying a phone, especially when they want to go for a flagship, they will want something unique — rather, something that looks unique.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8
and the
Note 8
are hands down the best looking phones out there right now. The
iPhone X
has an all new facial recognition tech. The Google Pixel 2? Nothing new. Everything is incremental. It can be argued that the
iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus
are also similarly boring. But as I mentioned above, iPhones boils down to aspiration.

Google just doesn’t hype its phones like Apple does. And that can be Google’s undoing.

Photo: Evan Blass (@evleaks)

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