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Google Cellphones Communications Iphone Hardware Technology

Play Store Downloads Show Google Pixel Sales Limited To 1 Million Units (arstechnica.com) 70

While Google has yet to release official sales numbers for its flagship Google Pixel smartphone, a Play Store app may shed some light on roughly how many units are in circulation. The Pixel Launcher, which is installed by default on the Pixel and Pixel XL, just crossed into the "1,000,000-5,000,000" install tier, leading us to assume that Google has finally sold 1,000,000 Google Pixel units. Ars Technica notes that "the Pixel is seen as Google's answer to the iPhone, but considering Apple sells 40 to 50 million iPhones in a quarter, Google has some catching up to do." From the report: This calculation is complicated by the fact that Google Play doesn't show exact install numbers; it shows installs in "tiers" like "100,000-500,000." So most of the time, we won't have an exact Pixel sales number -- except when the Pixel Launcher crosses from one download tier to another. So guess what just happened? The Pixel Launcher just crossed into the "1,000,000-5,000,000" install tier (you can see some third-party tracking sites, like AppBrain, still have it listed at 500,000). So for this one moment in history, eight months after launch, we can say Google finally sold a million Pixel phones. The Play Store device targeting ensures no one other than Pixel owners can download the Pixel Launcher, and the install count doesn't include sideloading. The most popular sideloading site, APKMirror, has more than 1.3 million downloads on just a single version of the Pixel Launcher, so we know that sideloaders actually outnumber legitimate Pixel Launcher users. There are some statistically insignificant root shenanigans you could pull to download the Pixel Launcher from the Play Store on a non-Pixel device, but there is no way the number of sold Pixels is higher than 1 million units at this point in time.
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Play Store Downloads Show Google Pixel Sales Limited To 1 Million Units

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  • Assumptions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @08:26PM (#54613529)

    Isn't the Pixel Launcher installed by default? Simply having it preinstalled won't count as a download, so can't be used to gauge how many devices are out there.

    Also, if there have been multiple updates, won't that count as multiple downloads per device? What about reinstalls after factory resets etc? If updates don't count as downloads, and only Pixel devices can install this launcher app, then the download count should be at zero. If other devices can install the app, then it's meaningless to try to use the number to count Pixel devices.

    • a better count could be achieved from someone like facebook.

      because anyone, any one of us, could download it from play store and it is FAR MORE LIKELY that we would do it from the play store than from apkmirror etc.

      in other words the real device count could be like 50 000.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When will they admit its not going that well? The carriers really didn't adopt the Pixel. The development / modding community really didn't adopt the Pixel. It was not a replacement for the Nexus line. The OnePlus devices are clearly the winner and replacement for the Nexus line as far as I'm concerned.

    Now if someone could tell me what I could replace my three Nexus 7 (2013) tablets with that aren't high dollar devices. Seems like the tablet market, with ROM / development support has all but disappeared.

    • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:09PM (#54613773)

      The best priced smartphone I've had was a Moto G. Incredible battery life, no bloat, almost vanilla Android. Roughly $180 - $200.

      Lately though I've bought a Samsung S8, unlocked, which is as expensive as it gets (same price range as the Pixel) but it's truly a fantastic device, it feels like nothing on it can be improved much. It does feel silly though to pay the same price for a phone than for a decent laptop, so unless you're an avid mobile gamer or mobile movie watcher, it's not really cost-effective and loses value faster than produce.

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        I'm on google fi so I'm stuck with nexus phones, however my Nexus 5x died due to the manufacturing defect so I was stuck with a Moto G4 for three weeks while my project fi officially supported pixel arrived.

        I LOVED the moto G4, it's an amazing phone, best phone I've ever owned, and I've owned every Nexus since the Nexus S. The pixel by comparison is kind of sluggish, and the screen scratches like crazy. I'm hoping that the Pixel 2 is less of a piece of garbage but at this point I've given up on Halo

        • Yeah, the new G4 Plus is pretty much all the phone that 95% of the population needs. $170 with a 5Ah battery and a quad core processor.

          I've got the Moto X Pure, dual-SIM, microSD, unlockable bootloader, LineageOS support, 4MB/64GB and it was under $300. My friends who have the Pixel get a similar experience for twice the money, but I have more local storage.

          I tried replacing a MicroUSB port on my previous phone, and, well, 'user serviceable' wasn't on the tin. If they're going to be semi-disposable they

      • The best priced smartphone I've had was a Moto G. Incredible battery life, no bloat, almost vanilla Android. Roughly $180 - $200.

        And still getting regular updates from LineageOS, with the latest Android version. The only reason I'm considering upgrading mine is that the map data in OSMAnd~ is a lot more detailed than it was a few years ago and there is now quite a noticeable lag when rendering it. For everything else, it's perfectly adequate.

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      Yes, the tablet market has dried up. There are some decent cheap Windows 10 tablets, but on the Android side, you only get a lot of super cheap and nasty stuff (probably worse than the Nexus 7), or you can pick one of the three premium tablets, which are still behind a decent mobile phone.

      If you can find the Xperia Z4 Tablet, that is still worth a buy.

    • Lenovo has a relatively inexpensive line of new Yoga Tab 3 tablets and Huawei started selling the Mediapad M3 this year for 300USD, which I think a good price for mostly a good spec tablet. The developer community does seem to be pretty poor. I am still sticking to my 2014 Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 tablet, as I haven't seen a compelling replacement for it either. I could imagine going for a new replacement of the Nexus 9, but not for the big bucks Google wanted for the Pixel tablet.

  • Seen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @08:37PM (#54613593)

    >"Ars Technica notes that "the Pixel is seen as Google's answer to the iPhone, but considering Apple sells 40 to 50 million iPhones in a quarter, Google has some catching up to do."

    Seen by whom? It is just a phone, one of many Android phones. Add up all the Android phones and it dwarfs the number of iPhones. What are they trying to say, that selling a million Pixel phones is somehow a failure? Yeesh, you can make statistics say anything...

    • I doubt they have sold even a million. But even selling a million phones in a year is an utter failure.
    • Re:Seen? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by kupan787 ( 916252 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:47PM (#54614011)

      Seen by whom? It is just a phone, one of many Android phones. Add up all the Android phones and it dwarfs the number of iPhones. What are they trying to say, that selling a million Pixel phones is somehow a failure? Yeesh, you can make statistics say anything...

      I think comparing phone to phone is a good metric. We are not trying to compare ecosystems (iOS vs Android, Mac vs PC, etc). If you don't like the Pixel to iPhone comparison, how about Pixel to Galaxy 8? Or Pixel to G6? Selling 1 million units is a lot like Lumia numbers. Not good by any stretch. I wouldn't expect Google to keep this going much longer, kind of like how they cancel most of their hardware endeavors (think Motorola purchase, Nexus Q, etc)...

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It's a platform for them to develop new technologies on. Like the computational photography that got them the highest ever rating for a phone camera. The million sales are a nice way to offset the R&D costs.

        I think the poor sales are likely due to poor deals with carriers, who don't offer good deals or promote it much.

        • It's a platform for them to develop new technologies on. Like the computational photography that got them the highest ever rating for a phone camera. The million sales are a nice way to offset the R&D costs.

          I think the poor sales are likely due to poor deals with carriers, who don't offer good deals or promote it much.

          SOMEbody's promoting it.

          In the past couple of months, I have seen three or four times as many Pixel commercials on TV as I have iPhone commercials.

    • That's stupid. You're comparing Apple iphone production installs to Android installations. That is not an apples-to-apples comparison. For your claim to be correct you'd have to do an Android-to-iOS installations comparison, and that would include tablets. And if that is the case, you'd also have to include embedded Android systems.

      Comparisons only work if you use two similar items.In this case the author is comparing the market actualisation of two phones. What you're suggesting is comparing the market

      • You're comparing Apple iphone production installs to Android installations. That is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

        Insert your own "no it's apples-to-androids" joke here.

        That is a terrible cliche to use here.

    • Re:Seen? (Score:5, Informative)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @10:19PM (#54614159) Homepage Journal

      What are they trying to say, that selling a million Pixel phones is somehow a failure?

      FWIW, the number announced in the recent earnings call was 2.6M devices. I don't know what the download count of the Pixel Launcher on the Play Store means, but it clearly doesn't correlate with devices sold, because Pixel devices don't need to download the Pixel Launcher; it's pre-installed. Upgrades, maybe? But I don't think upgrades count as downloads. Even if they did, if the launcher is very infrequently updated and devices typically leave the factory with the latest version, only the earliest-sold devices would need to have upgraded.

      I'm not sure what that number actually means, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean what Ars thinks it means.

  • I've used iPhones since the iPhone 3G, and I admit I'm pretty bored with it honestly. The Pixel looks like it is a nice alternative. When it was time to trade in my iPhone 5s, this last line of Nexus phones had just been released, and I was tempted. But I just couldn't do it when it came down to it for a few reasons. First, my old iPhone 5s still runs the latest iOS. Apple supports their devices for an insane amount of time. The Pixel/Nexus line seem to be the only ones that have any chance of seeing more than one or two versions of Android. Second, lock in. It's getting to the point where the respective app stores have enough investment that the thought of rebuying or finding alternative apps is very daunting. And third, I was not in the market for a giant phone. I guess I am one of the rare people who will pay premium prices for a small, powerful phone. So I opted for the SE. If I were already an Android user, I can't think why the Pixel wouldn't be the phone to get. As a potential switcher, I keep watching to see if Google can woo customers away from Apple, but I think they need to put a better focus on what Apple switchers are unhappy about in their ecosystem. And Google has a bad history of not sticking it out with a product line if the first few iterations don't sell well. I still miss the Nexus 7 line :(
    • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @09:17PM (#54613847)

      Google has a bad history of not sticking it out with a product line if the first few iterations don't sell well.

      Google either sticks with unpolished products (such as Google for work, now called G Suite for some reason, which has barely evolved over the last decade) or breaks things that used to work well so they can promote other stuff; case in point, the Chrome/Chromecast integration which now requires the Google Home android app to access many features (like changing wifii). They always do this shit like when they forced everyone on Google+.

      I don't trust them, plain and simple.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The support time is very short compared to Apple but pretty much par for the course when it comes to Android. So assuming you pick it up on a 2 year contract when it is first released it will be EOL by the end of your contract. If you get one now you're only up for a year of Android updates.
      • The support time is very short compared to Apple but pretty much par for the course when it comes to Android.

        And that is the beginning, middle, and end of that story.

    • by asavage ( 548758 )
      Google for Nexus and Pixel devices does 2 years of OS updates and 3 years of security updates. As they release OS updates annually you will have the latest version of android for 3 years if you buy at launch. Since the Pixel costs about 2x the price of older Nexus devices I think they should support it a bit longer. You can however continue to get OS updates from 3rd parties.
      • So, if a Pixel phone costs $1000 and is supported for (at most!) 3 years, that works out to:

        $333.33 per year of SUPPORTED use.

        But if an iPhone costs $1000 and is supported for FIVE years, that is more like:

        $200 per year.

        So, is the Pixel (which by all accounts is a vastly inferior phone, performance-wise, to its iPhone competitor (iPhone 7 and 7 Plus)), really worth $133 dollars PER YEAR more than an iPhone?

        • Well that really depends on what you want. If you want an OS/device that you can hack on and do whatever you want with where you would otherwise be limited by a closed ecosystem, then yes I would say it likely is. Personally I prefer to mess around with my PC or raspberry PI and leave my smartphone to just be good at being a smartphone so I use an iPhone.

          There is theoretical advantage in having hackers get in and play with the internals to do innovative things, the theory being that open collaboration would

  • Here are some other things that aren't selling: Microsoft Surface. Amazon Echo. No matter what the marketing hype says.
  • What is the advantage to this? It just looks like tighter google integration in the main UI. People want this that badly that they're willing to side load it?

  • by lord_mike ( 567148 ) on Tuesday June 13, 2017 @10:45PM (#54614263)

    ....that there were massive shortages of the phone which often had several month long waiting lists, it's not surprising that the installs are low. It was impossible to get. The small one was more available, but the Pixel XL, which is the phone most people wanted, still requires several weeks of waiting to get the unlocked version even after 9 months in production. The phone is certainly worth waiting for (an excellent device all around), but it's no surprise the install numbers are low.

  • It's not a big number. But when you are thinking about that it's only sold in "Australia, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, United States" then its not that bad.

    If Google really wanted it to be a big seller then they would sell it world wide as pretty mutch any other phones.

    • It's not a big number. But when you are thinking about that it's only sold in "Australia, Canada, Germany, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, United States" then its not that bad.

      If Google really wanted it to be a big seller then they would sell it world wide as pretty mutch any other phones.

      Oh, please. Quit making excuses.

      In Q1 of 2017, Apple sold $31.97 BILLION in iPhones in "the Americas" alone (I assume that means North, Central and South America). If each iPhone costs $1000, that equates to 31.79 MILLION iPhones...

      in "the Americas" alone.

      In one quarter.

  • .... that is the economic system war between US and China

  • ...at the price they are selling, they should be glad they sold whatever number of units they sold. Yeah, I know, the iPhone and the Galaxy. The iPhone and the Galaxy are status symbol items. Google as a brand is associated with value for money. Not to mention that most consumers know the Pixel is a rehash of the HTC 10.
  • Wait, this is just a one megapixel device? No wonder it hasn't been selling better.
  • Even Apple fanatics would be a bit slow to adopt if you MSRP a device > $900. I own one only because I was able to combine several discounts and reward systems together to bring the price down drastically. I know a few other colleagues have them as well, and yes it's good. However it's only marginally better than the competitors. The main selling point to me is the security updates aren't being held hostage to force buying another device.
    • I hear you. I love my Pixel, but I only (will have) paid $50 + tax on retail for it after my service credits expire.
      I had a Nexus5 with the like for like replacement warranty from TMobile. When my 5 died and was not replaceable they tried offering me some crappy assed samsung that had half the capacity of the 5! I complained and they said if I sourced the Pixel and brought it in they'd give me $600 service credit towards the cost. So that's what I did.

    • Even Apple fanatics would be a bit slow to adopt if you MSRP a device > $900. I own one only because I was able to combine several discounts and reward systems together to bring the price down drastically. I know a few other colleagues have them as well, and yes it's good. However it's only marginally better than the competitors. The main selling point to me is the security updates aren't being held hostage to force buying another device.

      My iPhone 6 Plus was around $950.

      And my iPhone 6 Plus still smokes a brand new Pixel phone.

  • DROP THE PRICE! It isn't like you couldn't afford it!

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]

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