Google is looking to up its smartphone game with the latest Pixel 7 phones

Google is looking to up its smartphone game with the latest Pixel 7 phones

Google has unveiled its Pixel 7 phone as it is making a bigger push in smartphone devices.

Google is looking to up its smartphone game with the Pixel 7, the latest entrant in a competitive corner of personal electronics where it has traditionally been a bit of a player.

The device was unveiled this week in Brooklyn, where representatives from the Mountain View, California giant have highlighted top-flight features that can silence background noise on a phone.

First introduced in 2016, the Pixel has been a latecomer to the mobile trend, arriving nearly a decade after the Apple iPhone and seven years after Samsung’s Galaxy model, the two products that dominate the market today.

In 2020, global shipments of a Google phone were just 2.7 million, along with more than 200 million for both Apple and Samsung options.

These meager sales numbers are partly due to the limited availability of the Google phone, with the Pixel 5 being sold in fewer than 10 countries, as the tech giant has focused its smartphone investment on software rather than its own hardware.

While Google phones are comparable in quality to the best sellers, the product “often lacks Google’s support” in terms of marketing, said Renard Porovde, a research analyst at market research firm Canalys.

Google has instead focused on boosting its Android operating system, which launched in 2008 and covered more than 80 percent of smartphones sold in the first half of 2022, according to Canalys.

“Google certainly has the capacity and resources to become a major player in the smartphone space, but that’s not Pixel’s strategy,” said Morris Klein of Counterpoint Research, noting that Android growth remains Google’s primary goal.

But he said, “Selling more Pixel devices could mean taking away a stake from other Android players, and that goes against the Pixel’s goal.”

Bjørhovde noted that with the latest version of the phone, Google has pivoted somewhat, releasing a product that’s compatible with wearables, earphones, and other devices the company makes.

Google's Brian Rakowski introduces the new Pixel 7

Brian Rakowski of Google introduces the new Pixel 7 phone.

The wonders of artificial intelligence

The previous phone version, the Pixel 6, was the first to use Tensor processing developed by Google to enable more complex artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Pixel 7 has the second generation of Tensor, the G2, which can make blurry photos clearer, remove distracting extras from photos and remove background noise in phone calls.

The upgraded system can also translate the language in real time, including idiomatic expressions, and transmit more accurate images of different skin tones.

At a launch event, Google Vice President Rick Osterloh said the new product “represents years of development across Google, and a long-term investment in the Pixel wallet.”

The company saw a slight increase in sales, reaching 6.2 million pixels in the twelve months ending June 30, 2022, up 129 percent from the previous 12-month period, according to Canalys figures.

That includes doubling market share in the US, where the Pixel now accounts for just 2% of smartphone sales.

Priced at $599 in the US, the Pixel 7 is positioned relatively affordable. The latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy versions cost about $800.

Google is boosting Pixel marketing, in partnership with the NBA.

The company also plans to distribute the Pixel 7 in 17 countries, compared to 13 markets for the previous version.

“Google has the potential to become a long-term player in the smartphone market,” Bjørhovde said. “However, it will rely on global scale and breaking into new markets to make this happen and create a profitable business that can continue.”

Google launches new Pixel, latest attempt in smartphone battle

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