Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones may only be available as an exclusive at Verizon Wireless, but various industry watchers are observing that the devices are selling well nonetheless during this year’s holiday shopping season. The bad news -- because the handsets are flying off the shelves quite fast, those planning to purchase a unit may have to wait until after Christmas Day.
As revealed by Wave7 Research through a research note to subscribers, reps at the Big Red are saying that the Pixel handsets are claiming a 12.3 percent share of all smartphone devices sold at Verizon Wireless outlets this month. Furthermore, most Pixel stock keeping units (SKUs) are now shipping after Christmas Day or in January; additionally, most SKUs are not in stock at most Verizon locations.
First announced about a couple of months ago, the Pixel devices start a price of $650 and have generally garnered positive reviews from both critics and consumers alike. After the smartphones were introduced, the biggest wireless carrier in America wasted no time in swooping in, backing the Pixel devices with a $25 million marketing campaign.
Apart from Wave7 Research, other firms have taken notice of the Pixels’ strong showing in terms of sales. For instance, Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research stated that the devices are enjoying strong demand when he recently cut his estimates for Sprint’s net postpaid customer additions for the current quarter and the next quarter.
Smartphone research firm BayStreet Research has also cited that the Pixel and the Pixel XL have surpassed its projections. The firm also noted how a very expansive and effective campaign has contributed immensely in allowing the Pixel devices to capture a 5 percent share at Verizon Wireless. According to BayStreet, it increasingly appears that Google has successfully offered an alternative high end smartphone brand to Samsung and Apple, something that other Android phone makers out there have not quite managed so far.
Of course, the failure of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 may have also helped the Pixel handsets gain more traction. And it is not just Google enjoying the redirected attention. Because of what happened to Samsung’s phablet, expectations in the premium smartphone market have dampened heading into the busy holiday shopping season. And Apple, who regularly registers robust sales figures during the holidays, has taken full advantage of the void created. Indeed, the iPhone maker has accounted for the majority of smartphone sales, especially at the retail stores of every major US wireless carrier (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint) through the last quarter of this year so far.
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