Bottlenecks and Google’s Acquisition of HTC’s Design Team

It has been reported by IDC that Google’s Pixel phones sold only about 2.8 million devices since launch a year ago, which is less than 1% of the total market, and totally unfitting for a company of Google’s wealth, dominant position and brand recognition.

It was not the appeal of the phone, the hardware, the software, nor the integration of the two that caused mediocre sales. Indeed, the Pixel phone was met with rave reviews and was sold out at least during the early launch period in the places where it was sold. Instead most people believe that it was the meagre supply and the dearth of distribution channels that made it very difficult for people to get hold of them.

If this is true, then what Google needs to do is to fix this bottleneck. It needs to fix manufacturing, component procurement, distribution and marketing and not the design of the phone. It needs to make sure that people can purchase them without undue difficulty. If Google can manufacture tens of millions of phones and make them available through the regular channels, then they will have a winner.

In short, instead of purchasing the hardware design division of HTC which will probably not help the supply and distribution issues at all, Google should hire people like Tim Cook, Phil Schiller and Eddy Cue.

  • obarthelemy

    I’m still unsure what Google wants to do with Pixel.
    – a real business that makes money ?
    – a Northern Star show-off product ? (we’re still waiting on that camera-assist chip to be activated)
    – a lurking check to Samsung, ready to go big if Samsung becomes too unruly ?
    – a quick buck off first-party fetishists ?

    I’m puzzled by the whole thing. It’s not like Android needs another premium phone on top of what’s offered by Samsung/Huawei/LG (even Oppo/OnePlus and Xiaomi). It needs
    – an entreprise Long-Term Support solution… and a consumer one too, but Google has been bastardizing ONE to the point it’s meaningless now: 18 months of OEM-implemented updates, instead of 2 years of Google-shipped. Xiaomi just shipped Android 7.1 for the 2012 Mi 2, so ONE’s value is… inexistant.
    – shops and local service centers. Only Xiaomi is doing that, maybe MS could be enrolled with some kind of over-arching partnership.

    What Android doesn’t need is Yet Another Device. Unless you’re utterly brand-sensitive, that’s what Pixel is.