October 1, 2020

Despite disappointing Pixel 4, 2019 was Google’s best year for phone sales yet

Even Google thinks the Pixel 4 was disappointing. However, that didn't stop 2019 from being a great year for the Pixel line.

Google Pixelbook Go Review closed with Pixel 4

  • A third-party analyst firm says Google Pixel sales hit 7.2 million in 2019.
  • This would make it the best year yet for the Pixel line, although that number pales in comparison to the top-five brands.
  • It’s very likely sales of the Google Pixel 3a make up the bulk of that 7.2 million figure.

A few weeks ago, news broke that Google was allegedly disappointed with the Google Pixel 4, even prior to that device’s launch. However disappointing it may have been, it doesn’t appear to have stopped Google Pixel sales from hitting a record high in 2019.

According to third-party analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Google Pixel sales hit 7.2 million units in 2019. Although the numbers don’t get broken down by device, it’s likely most of those sales come from the two 2019 phones launched — the Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 4. At least some of the shipments are probably made up of Google Pixel 3 sales, too.

However, it’s estimated that the Google Pixel 4 only sold around 2 million units over its first six months, which would mean a portion of that number wouldn’t count towards the 2019 total. Therefore, it’s basically a guarantee that the bulk of the Google Pixel sales in 2019 came from the Pixel 3a line.

Google Pixel sales likely dominated by the Pixel 3a

The budget-oriented Pixel 3a line was a big hit critically, so it likely being the best-selling phone in the line would make a lot of sense. The series is also easily accessible from many major carriers around the world and is available in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market. The Pixel 4 is not available in India, which likely didn’t help its sales.

Related: Google Pixel 3a review: The phone made for everyone

While 7.2 million Google Pixel sales might be great for Google when compared to its previous years, it should be noted that it pales in comparison to the top-five manufacturers. Huawei, the second-largest smartphone OEM in the world, shipped 230 million phones in 2019, to give you an idea of Google’s market share.

However, the apparent success of the Pixel 3a gives more credence to the rumor that Google’s Pixel 5 phone will be a more mid-range affair with a weaker processor but a cheaper entry price. This news also makes us even more excited than we already are for the Google Pixel 4a, which still does not have a confirmed release date.

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