Never underestimate the power (or popularity) of Google. That would appear to be the lesson Verizon is now learning, as demand for Google Pixel smartphones is exceeding the carrier’s supply. As per new data from Wave7 Research, the Pixel made up 9.5 percent of all smartphone sales at Big Red in the last month — something neither Verizon nor Google actually anticipated. During the holiday season, sales were even hotter, with the Pixel accounting for 12.3 percent of smartphone sales at the carrier in the first few weeks of December.
Although Verizon technically owns exclusive rights to the Pixel and the Pixel XL, a number of customers are choosing to buy the phone unlocked and take it to other carriers. “At AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint stores, 39 percent of reps (13 of 33) are aware of … Pixel activations at these 13 stores,” Wave7 Research wrote in a research note to subscribers. “Most Pixel XL SKUs are shipping in March and most Pixel SKUs are out of stock as well.”
Google debuted its two flagship phones to great fanfare in October, and while they carry quite a hefty price tag (the smaller version, the Pixel, starts at $650), they’ve proven popular with both critics and customers.
“Along with Apple, Samsung, and Droid, the Pixel/XL continues to be heavily advertised — on an equal footing with top OEMs — at a price point of $10 (Pixel) or $15 (XL) per month with trade-in of a high-end smartphone,” Wave7 noted. “It is clear that demand is exceeding supply,” the research firm concluded.
Of course, this is an excellent problem for Google to have, as the firm continues to make a significant mark on the smartphone landscape. So if you’re waiting to get your hands on a Pixel or an XL, just be a bit patient. Google’s working on it.