Distribution will be key in Google Pixel's challenge to the iPhone
Google has drawn the battle lines with its new Pixel range of smartphones. With the phone hitting the Indian shores in its first week of launch, the technology giant has given a clear signal that it will not leave any stone unturned to dislodge Apple's iPhone from its numero uno position.
Pixel comes with top features like 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protected super AMOLED display and comes in two sizes – 5.0 and 5.5 inch. It is also fitted with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 Quad core (2x 2.15 Ghz and 2x1.6 Ghz) processors and 4GB RAM.
Pixel has a 2770 battery while the 5.5-inch device has 3450 mAh battery. Both the devices i.e. the iPhone 7 and Pixel support "Quick Charge" technology, promising seven hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging.
Most of these specifications are similar to that available in the iPhone 7.
Like Apple’s AI programme ‘Siri’, Pixel will be the first smartphone with Google Assistant in which people can have conversations with the device for assistance and navigation.
Let's come to the price factor. The Pixel comes at a starting price of Rs 57,000, while the iPhone 7's price starts at Rs 60,000 for the base model. This is just a Rs 3,000 difference, and, at this price point, does not make much of a difference.
This small price difference may do very little to convince people to go for the Google phone, with the strong brand name of Apple in smartphone category. If the price difference, however, have been more, then it could have swayed opinions and posed a bigger threat to Apple.
Samsung stands to suffer, with the new entrant, as it has already delayed the India launch of the Note 7 due to the problems faced with the battery of its flagship premium device.
“The void created by the absence of the Note 7 is also going to help Pixel cement its position in the premium segment. Note 7 is yet to arrive in India so Pixel may have a headstart here,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems of Counterpoint Research told IANS.
He further added, “Google, while merging software and hardware towards creating a new ecosystem, poses a direct threat to the Apple ecosystem. Pixel will come with the newest Android operating system -- Android 7.1 Nougat. Pixel phones will also get software and security updates as soon as they are available, directly from Google.”
Google, with Pixel, has a complete ecosystem in its hands with the software as well as hardware.
However, Anshul Gupta, Research Director at Gartner feels that in spite of this, it will need to focus on bolstering its distribution network and it will be tough to get ahead of Apple and Samsung as they have a strong distribution network.
“It can’t outsell devices like iPhone7 or Note 7 right now as Apple and Samsung have hundred and thousands of touch points. Overnight, Google can’t outsell these brands. It has to build a robust distribution network to gain ground," Gupta told IANS.
(With inputs from IANS)