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.

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