Google reportedly shipped 3.9 million Pixel and Pixel 2 devices in 2017

Despite “Pixel vs iPhone” Google phone sales are tiny

Google's jump into the hardware arena with self-branded phones began with the first Pixel phone at the end of 2016, and the company still has a ton of work to do. Google has done better with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL stock, but the phones are also quite expensive.

According to a recent tweet from Francisco Jeronimo, research director at IDC, Google Pixel shipments doubled to 3.9 million units in 2017.

For starters, Google only sells Pixel phones in six to eight countries, depending on the model, so Google is not the slightest bit competitive in the worldwide market. That seems like a huge growth rate, but consider this: The original Pixel launched in October 2016, which means it was available only for three months of that year. Based on its most recent sales figures, Apple was selling nearly 850,000 iPhones each day in the first quarter of 2018. For Google, that's not too shabby for a newcomer - it's twice the number of Pixels from the year before - but overall it's still pretty weak, and a sign that there's a long road ahead before the company even comes close to challenging Apple and Samsung.

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Though there are undoubtedly many reasons why Pixel sales were so disappointing, the most problematic is its lack of retail presence.

But the Pixel isn't a massive commercial success for Google for the time being. Over 90 percent of phone sales are sold through carriers. In contrast, the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 handsets were available for all of 2017. According to data from TrendForce, HMD sold 4.4 million devices during the holiday quarter alone. The plan for Pixel is ambitious, but it may already be too late - Google should have built its own phones years ago. So let's look at the average for the calendar year 2017. Do you think 3.9 million shipments is a good milestone for Google's second year as a hardware company, or were you expecting more?

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