Savor this moment: we've got a confirmed number of sales for the Google smartphone.
We say this because unlike most hardware manufacturers, Google refuses to share official sales numbers for their phone. Instead, during earning reports they simply bundle the product under Alphabet's "Other Revenues", leaving us in the dark about how successful the product is.
The Google Pixel is Google's first attempt at manufacturing their own smartphone, totally self-branded. For the most part, it seems to be getting good reviews, Ars Technica calling it a "critical success." But a critical success is different than a commercial success, and people have been wondering how exactly the phone is holding up in the market.
The sales figures have been cracked through the Play Store by looking at install numbers for apps — namely those that are installed by default on the Pixel. This includes the Pixel Launcher, which is included with every activated Pixel phone, and currently only available for the Pixel and Pixel XL. Therefore, the number of times that the Pixel Launcher has been installed indicates the number of Pixel phones that have been sold and activated.
Most of the time, this information is not very newsworthy because the numbers come in tiers like 100,000 –500,000, but Pixel Launcher has just crossed into the 1,000,000 – 5,000,000 tier. So, this tells us that Google has finally sold and activated 1 million phones.
For Google's first self-branded phone, that number is not too shabby. The iPhone 7 sold about 21.5 million units in roughly the same span, which obviously tops the Pixel, but 1 million is better than what any Nexus phone has sold. Not to mention the fact that most major tech outlets continue giving it great reviews — this year, CNET updated their previous review on the Pixel to remind everyone how great it is, saying, "The Google Pixel remains our favorite phone, bar none."
Android Headlines speculates that the Pixel is doing better because it's sold at Verizon, who launched a massive publicity campaign at the time of the phone's release. While Google still has a lot of catching up to do, these numbers, the reviews, as well as other new features Google is launching, could indicate Google phones being able to really compete with Apple and Samsung in the future.