Google Pixel —– The only way to enjoy Android
Google. The name doesn’t require any introduction. The most popular search engine enjoys a large market share in internet ads, search results and its mobile operating system Android. Headed by Sundar Pichai, Google is the priciest enterprise under its parent [Alphabet]. With a humongous market share of 85% in mobile Operating Systems, Android has replicated the success of Windows in Desktop and Laptop devices. Despite Google’s Android, it has little control over it. Today in this post, we will discuss about Google’s newest venture to win premium customers on Android and specifically loyal to Google rather any other OEM, how is it faring against the likes of Apple.
Let’s get back to basics
We all remember when we used to ask “Do you have a fine pin charger?” You guessed it right, Nokia. Nokia has enjoyed a monopoly over a decade in the mobile phone market and we too were fascinated by the different built of phones they introduced every regular interval.
Come 2008, Android was launched as open-source software for all the OEMs under the Open Handset Alliance, was a straight hit thanks to the rigidity by Nokia and Blackberry who failed to adopt touchscreen and Android soon unlike other manufacturers.
Android went on to crush down every mobile operating system, making it a distant leader with the second being Apple for premium phones.
Google lost control over Android. Being an open-source project and no royalties to Google to use Android, many OEMs adopted it quickly. The basic kernel used for Android OS is supplied by Google, but it is well-customized by OEMs making it difficult for even Google to identify whether it is the Android they supplied or not. Different home screens for all devices, no uniformity rather common feature being only APK installable files on these devices.
Why Google entered manufacturing phones????
As discussed earlier, Google has almost lost control over Android. OEMs customize it to their beneficiary, making it difficult for Google to push updates of new versions of Android.
Update is what is liked by premium customers and that’s what Apple does. Apple recently provided updates for iPhone 5S to iOS 10 (3 year old flagship) and is expected to receive is’ 11 too.
Android’s flagship products don’t receive updates sooner like Apple. Apple’s most devices have the latest updated software with 96 hours of its launch while Android devices struggle to get the new update even within six months of its launch.
Apple takes away 85% of the mobile business profits. A huge number, leaving Samsung and others with single digit profits!!!!!! This is because
- Apple understood in 1977, that customers like software-hardware integration and the main business profits are in hardware.
- Microsoft understood the point in 2012, and came up with Surface devices.
- Google understood the point in 2016 (You may argue about Nexus but it wasn’t so tightly integrated like Pixel in 2016).
Is Pixel Google’s first bet on manufacturing????
It is a yes and a no.
Yes, because Google wanted to create a revenue stream other than search engines and Adsense. In 2010, when Google saw premium Android customers struggling to get the latest update of Android, Google developed the Nexus series starting with Nexus One manufactured by HTC. The steam for Nexus rose when Android 4.0 (Ice-Cream Sandwich) came with the inbuilt Chrome browser. Chrome, backed by Sundar Pichai was a hit on desktop devices was brought on mobile. It may seem a small issue today, but even I was frustrated to not have Chrome on my Gingerbread enabled Android device in 2011. It was a massive hit backed by Google’s support and regular updates; it was a mid-ranged phone with premium specifications.
Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2011 to enter the mass-price sensitive market with its own stock Android. Motorola was a huge success, thanks to the backing by Google; it filled the void space of reliability created by Nokia in the emerging markets in the sub-$200 price bracket.
Google sold Motorola Mobility for $2.9 Billion to Chinese-based Lenovo making an exit in the budget and premium phones. It was a surprise why Google sold an entity, which was on the route of profitability for just $2.9 Billion.
No, because Google hasn’t ever tried to win the premium customers on Android. Either with Motorola Moto X or Nexus, it wasn’t good either to win the premium customers loyal to Apple. Google didn’t have a reason to tell why premium customers must choose its devices. Apple’s good software-hardware integration makes the iPhone the classiest device on the planet. Android OEMs (expect Samsung’s S and Note series or HTC One series) has lost interest in developing flagship phones creating a complete monopoly for Apple’s premium products.
Is Apple facing a threat from Google Pixel????
Do you feel so? Decide it after reading this post.
Google Pixel phones have the Google brand sported on it (only the G on the back over). Manufactured by HTC, Google Pixel is the next iteration by Google over its Nexus line. Google has learnt good lessons from Nexus and is coming with a bang with Pixel. Though Nexus was integrated with Google with its stock Android, Pixel’s integration is something like Apple iPhone’s with iOS.
Pixel is a brand strategy for Google. The company is promoting the product as a Pixel phone rather a Google’s product. While the current prospectus doesn’t indicate any chances of failures of Pixel, but if it does, the brand Pixel would be dead and Google would face little burnt to its hard-won credibility in Android and Search Engine. In the success scenario, Google will be a complete company with its presence in many tech-driven areas and the ‘G’ logo will make its premium presence felt like the Apple’s logo.
While you might be thinking why am I talking about Pixel rather Google. Let’s take an example. After Note 7 caught fire due to battery issues, Samsung recalled all its Note 7 pieces with an assured refund policy once it reaches them. Now, after six successful iterations of the first Note phone, the company decided to stop production of phones under the Note series. Now the Note brand is dead, Galaxy is wounded because it lost one of its money-spinning flagships. But Samsung can still save its hard-won image by refunding all its customers across the world on time.
Google Pixel will get the necessary mileage. With few loyal HTC fans and the debacle of Note 7, a complete void space for Android premium users is created which can be grabbed as Google Pixel has the best Android integrated phone till date launched by any OEM or rather Google. With Assistant and good specs, this market can be tapped by the new phone (mind only loyalists of Android).
Now the Apple iPhone V/s Google Pixel debate. I rather never speak in terms of specifications. A mobile phone must not be judged by specifications is what I feel.
I recently read some of the reviews. One review was from VentureBeat is that Google Pixel has completely messed up the messaging service with Allo, Hangouts and Duo. If you read the article (by clicking on the hyperlink) you will feel that Apple is very effective enough to integrate iMessage and FaceTime very well. Some reviews say the Apple iPhone lacks in specs compare to Google Pixel. Google Pixel sports a 4GB RAM with Apple iPhone only has a 2GB RAM. Which is important, a high spec phone with a messed up messaging function (most basic ever used by any user — Social Connectivity) or a peace of mind when you browse through your commitments.
While I won’t comment anything about the performance of Google Pixel thanks to its 4GB RAM, but Apple iPhone isn’t a laggard as it has a 10 years’ experience to integrate hardware-software effectively. In Mechanical Engineering, We are taught about exceeding the limit conditions when things can sustain with low raw materials. This applies to Apple too. They know that with the Apple A10 processor and 2GB RAM, the performance of the device will be above par compared the other flagships. The specs aren’t always important for any product (not only a mobile phone, but any electronic gadget) but the ease to use it is what is valued.
People always say that they need an “iPhone that runs on Android”. With the Apple’s security and hardware built and the sleek Android OS. Apple’s security protects the devices from malware but Android is prone to the same thing. While Google Pixel’s Android is a rare-premium one not available in any phone, it is comparable to the security provided by Apple iPhone. But one major problem, if Google wanted to target premium secured users, the devices should have not allowed rooting facility other Android phones have. While rooting isn’t prone to malware, but it can be a potent way for malware to enter the device.
While Waterproof isn’t such a big feature difference like all analysts say I feel, but camera surely is. Google Pixel is ranked as the best mobile phone camera till date which is a credit compared to the likes of Apple’s famed double lens camera. But most of the premium customers do have a DSLR, makes it a minus point if a customer likes to go with his/her loyal brand.
Google Assistant is lauded in all reviews. It is said to be comparable to Apple’s famed Siri. Future will tell whether the new entrant Google Assistant (extended version of Google Now) is better than the five year old Siri.
Last feature charging. No doubt Google Pixel wins the race from a distance. While larger battery size doesn’t ensure more power as it depends on good software-hardware integration, but with fast charging feature completely missing on Apple iPhone, this is a major plus point for Google Pixel. Secondly, Google provides lifetime unlimited photo storage in 4K resolution, which is a major plus point comparing to Apple’s 5GB free storage. While Apple has to come with something innovative like, an addition of 5GB of free storage per new device added to the account, etc…
Apple iPhone has got its worthy competitor, Google Pixel. While the future seems certain, but the phone has to fight against the likes of mid-ranged priced Chinese flagships from Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, etc… Recently, I came across a comparison between LeEco Max and Google Pixel on Quora, thanks to the similar specs. Google must try to convince people that specs aren’t only the major criteria for a good phone, but good software-hardware integration ensures the quality of a good phone.
My stand is simple. I am a loyal fan of the iPhone. I love the software-hardware integration of iOS, making the sleekest mobile Operating System ever used. Before Apple iPhone, I used to own an HTC. I used the HTC device (upgraded from Gingerbread to IceCream Sandwich to JellyBean) for straight 4 and half years without any problems being battery or even the charger supplied by the manufacturer. Loved HTC Sense UI, Music App, Messaging integration, etc… with the popular Android; recently switched to Apple thanks to by disliking towards HTC One M9 (M10 is above the roof both in performance and my budget).
If you ask me, I would go with Google Pixel because it is contract manufactured by HTC unlike the Apple iPhone by Foxconn. This may be a small detail, but the trust HTC has built cannot be matched by any manufacturer. With Google Assistant and unlimited photo storage, Google Pixel takes the cake, baker and the bakery into fine Android. If you have to enjoy Android, you can enjoy only with Google devices.
The Apple iPhone is the best because of its simplicity. I suffered from problems in using ShareIt and Bluetooth for a few days, I am happy to pay a good price for a low spec phone compare to the peers for the same price.
If Google Pixel lives up to the expectations (iOS type integration), any ex-HTC/Samsung Note loyalist would pick this phone rather using Apple iPhone today.
Wishing Google Pixel all the very best for its grand debut and its bright future.
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