Google reentered the flagship smartphone segment after a two-year-long hiatus with the launch of the Pixel 6 lineup. The company introduced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro late last year in nine countries, and it seems like they have been very well received based on sales that are an all-time high for a Google smartphone.
According to parent-company Alphabet’s earnings call, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro helped Google break sales records in the fourth quarter of 2021. As per a transcript from Android Police, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said: “In Q4, we set all all-time quarterly sales record for Pixel. This came in spite of an extremely challenging supply chain environment. The response from Pixel 6 from our customers and carrier partners was incredibly positive. And A.I. is making Pixel even more helpful …”
The company official didn’t reveal the exact number of phones sold or the precise profit. The Pixel phone sales are part of “Google Services,” which includes familiar names like Android, Chrome, Google Maps, Search, Google Play, and YouTube. These all combined to help Google reach revenue of $69 billion last quarter. The revenue is up from $52.8 billion in the same time frame in 2020.
Let’s place this into the context of past Pixels. The cheaper and well-reviewed Pixel 4a, for example, launched unopposed in August 2020 in 13 countries, while the Pixel 4a 5G and 5 debuted in nine countries. For the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to snag the “all-time quarterly sales record for Pixel” is something to be proud of for the company. And there’s evidence that this isn’t just meaningless corporate-speak. Google accessory partner Bellroy hailed the Pixel 6 as the “most popular product release ever.”
The Pixel 6 sales record isn’t completely out of left field. In October 2021, it was reported that Google had ordered 7 million Google Pixel 6 smartphone units ahead of its launch. The company expected the new series would double the shipments from 2020, and that appears to have been accurate. Sure, it’s nothing compared to Apple and Samsung, but it’s still noteworthy.
Can the Pixel 6 keep up this momentum to turn the fortunes of the Pixel line around? It’s too soon to tell. The Pixel 6 series has been on the market for four months, while other Pixel phones usually have a shelf life of over 12 months. It’s also been marred by reports of glitches, though the company squashed the most prominent bugs in its first update of the year. If the Pixel continues to generate satisfied customers following that update, then Google can expect its Pixel reboot plan to pay off. If not, there’s always next year.
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