Skip to main content

Google hopes to shatter smartphone sales records with Pixel 6 launch

Google has ordered more than 7 million Google Pixel 6 smartphone units ahead of its launch, according to Nikkei Asia. This move will double the shipments from last year if everything goes according to plan, and Google has solid reasons to believe that it will. As the spearhead of the pure Android operating system, Google is well-positioned to ride the waves of the post-pandemic demand, which has seen unexpected spikes in smartphone shipments.

While it’s the most aggressive shipment Google has ordered, suggesting a high degree of confidence, it doesn’t come without severe risks. Last year, the company scaled back production due to COVID-19 disruptions. It also built last year’s Google Pixel models at a deficit, ordering 5 million units when shipments only came to about 3.7 million. It was a large shift from 2019 model sales, which saw Google sell over 6 million units.

Google has also told its suppliers that its position as the “only U.S. Android smartphone maker” will boost sales in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. This position is somewhat debatable since Motorola, also based in the U.S., is another major Android smartphone maker. Regardless, Google is clearly banking on users shifting from Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi (the world’s top three smartphone makers) to join the Google Pixel family. More importantly, Google aims to try to take a chunk of the market from Huawei.

Google Pixel 6 case.
Evan Blass

Due to security concerns, Congress pulled most of Huawei’s access to American tech, and as a result, Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi all saw jumps in shipments. Google now hopes to snag a slice of the U.S. market, relying on new features like its new in-house Tensor processor and a 4,000 strong team of employees focused on building these chipsets in Taiwan.

Besides smartphones, Google has been designing a new generation of Pixelbooks and computer chips that will eventually be incorporated into its products, namely its Chromebooks. While not expected at this launch, some other potential products include the long-rumored Pixel Watch and a foldable Pixel phone. Those interested in the Google Pixel 6 launch can watch it today.

Editors' Recommendations

Rebecca Isaacs
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rebecca Isaacs began writing for Digital Trends in September 2021. She has been involved in tech space since 2019 and has…
Google Pixel 8: all the latest rumors and what we want to see
Google Pixel 8 leaked render.

The Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are on their way. Google's fallen iton a pretty reliable release pattern for Pixel phones, meaning we can safely expect a new lineup of flagship Pixels each year. In 2023, that means the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro.

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are two excellent devices -- possibly two of the best smartphones Google has ever made. But while they have some serious strengths, a number of problems and missed opportunities drag both phones down. This wouldn't be a problem if the competition was standing still, but it's not. The Apple iPhone 14 Pro refreshed the iPhone design for the first time in years, and the recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is quite possibly one of the best smartphones ever created. So what's a humble Pixel to do?

Read more
Google can create the perfect Pixel phone — if it changes one thing
The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7a held in a person's hand.

A new Google Pixel A-series has launched, and it's sure to make reasonably priced phones quiver in their boots. The Google Pixel 7a introduces new features for the A-series, including a 90Hz refresh rate, the highest megapixel count ever on a midrange Google phone, and the Tensor G2 processor. It's a solid smartphone, and it puts up a good fight against a number of similar devices — including the Samsung Galaxy A54 and even the flagship Google Pixel 7.

But the fact that it's able to stand up against its flagship brethren highlights a concern -- the price. The Pixel 7a costs $499, which is only $100 away from the Pixel 7. That small disparity means there's a big gap underneath the Pixel 7a for another phone. The $349 Pixel 6a helps to fill some of that gap, but it's not enough. It's time Google embraced the budget phone market by creating a Pixel phone for those who want a truly cheap smartphone with the Pixel name. Not convinced? Let me make my case.
A budget Pixel would be good for everyone

Read more
Have an old Google Pixel? This camera test will make you want a Pixel 7a
The Pixel 7a and Pixel 4a's camera modules.

Three years separate the Google Pixel 4a and the Google Pixel 7a, and the internal specs and camera hardware are very different. But just how much do you notice when putting the two against each other and taking photos?

If you have a Pixel 4a and are thinking the Pixel 7a would be a good upgrade — or are interested to see how Google has advanced its camera and related software over the past three years — this test is for you.
How the cameras differ

Read more