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The Direction Google is taking with Pixel Hardware

Yesterday Google launched the Pixel lineup of phones and it comes out of the box with Android Nougat 7.1 and seems to be aiming at the Premium segment of the market with the 650$ base pricing.

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While most of you might think the pricing is just too much and doesn’t offer much, there are others like me who think that’s it’s a sensible move. That doesn’t mean I’m gonna go grab one for myself because I cant afford one, but I’d love to. So coming back, here’s why I think the pricing is suitable. To start things off, Google is not manufacturing their own hardware just yet. It’s designed by them but not manufactured by them and this is not because Google can’t afford to, its just that they don’t need to. They are instead focusing on bringing in a new ecosystem. Google could have made a sub 400$ smartphone but that market is already flooded with the likes of Oneplus, Huawei, ZTE and a few others and even Samsung nor Apple can disturb or make a dent in that price segment. The budget segment at sub 200$ is also flooded with the likes of Xiaomi, Moto, BLU and so on and that isn’t a market you can work with too. On the other hand, The premium flagship segment is mainly dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung. This is evident from the fact that companies like LG went entirely unnoticed with the LG V20 and The HTC 10 also has had a rather lukewarm response. Both Apple and Samsung have found the right balance between specs, features, compromises and price. So that allows them to squeeze that market but with the right moves a company like Google can wiggle their way in. So this premium flagship market, This is where Google can test its entirely new ecosystem that has AI at its centre. The Google Assistant is all about living connected but staying away from a screen for too long and using the screen only when its absolutely necessary and they are doing it with the Google Assitant. The Google home and all that Google Announced has pretty much made it clear that this is for people who want to invest in the future and have connected homes. It acts as a base for all IOT appliances and the Google assistant is going to run all of it and this segment of the market is not pocket-friendly just yet. You really need to be invested in it to pay the premium to experience all of it. Google has had an ecosystem already in place and this has been established over the years with the tons of data that they have collected from Google maps, photos, their voice search engine and all their other products and no one can match that.


company-products-600x171Going with Google is a rather safe bet. You get the latest software and now it’s also all their latest hardware too. The Pixel isn’t just going to be a phone it’s part of an internet ecosystem that Google is making you invest in. Daydream is currently exclusive to the Pixel phones and any phone that comes with daydream support later. Phones that don’t exist yet. The Google assistant and its way into other phones has also been in question and has been a grey area that they have not delved into. The main reason being, The assistant could be constantly updated and tweaked all the time, seeing from the likes of how it works in general and how Google has laid emphasis on updates being done in the background seamlessly. The same Google Assistant lives on all these devices, so if change in firmware on one device is made, chances are the change needs to reflect in the other devices in one way or the other. Google could only do that if they had control of the entire hardware because looking at the track record of OEM’s its hard to make them do these things. The Daydream View VR headset is currently exclusive to the Pixel phones and any phone that comes with daydream support later, Phones that don’t exist yet. The Google assistant and its way into other phones has also been in question and has been a grey area that they have not delved into. The main reason being, The assistant could be constantly updated and tweaked all the time, seeing from the likes of how it works in general and how Google has laid emphasis on updates being done in the background seamlessly. The same Google Assistant lives on all these devices, so if change in firmware on one device is made, chances are the change needs to reflect in the other devices in one way or the other. Google could only do that if they had control of the entire hardware because looking at the track record of OEM’s its hard to make them do these things. The Google branding on these phones makes it clear that its entirely a GOOGLE ECOSYSTEM not part of the general Android ecosystem. The Nexus lineup was just kind of there but it was never fully Googles own in terms of offering more than updates and it was part of the general Android ecosystem. The Google ecosystem is the end game here, Google wants to stand out differently from the rest of the Android ecosystem. The Daydream VR, Google Home and more hardware that Google is working to bring in. Its all something Google can make you invest in. A Nexus on the other hand was just a phone that had no supporting elements. But when you buy a Pixel, you want to use the Google Assistant to its full. The smart wifi routers, lights, Tv’s powered by Chrome casts and all this controlled by your voice through the Google Home smart speaker and a Screen that is also seamlessly part of it. The screen is the control centre of sorts for all of this.

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Google can’t make that happen with Nexus. Because Nexus is a different kind of geek phone, one that prides on customisation and tweaking. The Pixel on the other hand wants to make things just work together seamlessly with AI but wants you to geek out on the elements that support the whole experience.

What do you guys think? let me know in the comments below.

    1. Subodh Jain October 6, 2016

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