Skip to main content

A limited Google Pixel 5a launch may be a smarter strategy than you think

You've got to pick your battles.

As reported last week, Google is drastically scaling back the Pixel A-line this year. Rather than the relatively wide launch like the Pixel 4a of last year, it's launching the new Pixel 5a 5G in only two countries — the U.S. and Japan. Even for Google's modest Pixel ambitions, this is unlikely to be a good sign. But rather than dwell on the doom and gloom scenarios, there are some things we can take away from Google's revised strategy.

First and most obviously, Google's Pixel 5a is launching. Despite the chip shortage that's plaguing the world, the company is going ahead with this. If Google did want to scale back on its hardware ambitions and only focus on one device, it had the perfect opportunity to cancel the Pixel 5a. It didn't even need to comment on the Pixel 5a rumors. After all, reports of the Pixel 4a XL being canceled did nothing to stop the Pixel 4a 5G from launching (and Google didn't comment on those rumors either). That Google did speak up means that the Pixel A-line is still important in Google's overall strategy.

Reports of the 4a 5G's death were premature, yet Google didn't comment.

So what could that strategy be? Google is likely under no illusions at this point about the sales viability of the Pixel line, and dropping out of markets seems a strange way to go about it regardless.

When we spoke to TechSpotential's Avi Greengart about Google's odd move, he told Android Central:

We don't have complete information on how well Google's Pixels are selling, but I'm confident that no Pixel variant sells as well compared to Samsung's Galaxy A or Galaxy S. Google can also be forgiven for focusing limited component availability on the markets where it does most of its volume. While Google certainly wants to expand its global footprint, it cannot afford to lose momentum — and carrier attention — in the U.S.

When one considers that Japan is the other market that Google kept the Pixel 5a this year, it becomes a little clearer why Google dropped out from the markets that it did, and why it stuck to the ones that it did.

Talking about the A-series in general, Android Central's Jeramy Johnson opined:

[The "a" series] is about delivering a flagship (or near-flagship) level software experience and cameras capable of outperforming phones that cost hundreds of dollars more. As someone who has access to a lot of great devices, I still chose the Pixel 4a as my primary phone.

In other words, the Pixel-A series fits the demographic of "really good Android phone that's cheap and has a great camera." In those markets that Google has pulled out of — the UK, Spain, etc — you'll find that niche already filled in by other Android OEMs who offer cheap phones that are either as good or even better than the Pixel. Whether it's by the likes of value-oriented brands in Xiaomi, Oppo, or even more premium ones like Samsung, the Pixel "A" hasn't quite been as competitive as it could be over the past year. You could argue the software experience sets it apart, but a comparison of sales lays to rest that line of reasoning.

Cheap phones from Google's rivals have gotten really good this year.

Now then, if you were to look over to Japan or the U.S., it's a little less rosy of a picture. When it comes to Japan, the country has never quite fallen in love with Chinese phones (though that's possibly set to change). Samsung, for its part, had to pull its branding from its phones for a time to attract sales, so you don't need me to tell you that it's not seeing the same levels of success there as it does in other countries.

Meanwhile, an intense distrust of China lingers in the U.S., and it's unlikely that Chinese OEMs will break into the U.S. market in the current climate. In other words, there are market gaps in both countries that the Pixel A-series slots into, and other international spaces where it makes strategic sense to retreat temporarily.

Google's staying where it's needed and leaving where it's not. Google isn't obviously going to leave its home market, and the deal with T-Mobile could help replicate Verizon's earlier deal that bolstered the first Pixel. Greengart noted:

All large Chinese brands have looked beyond Europe to the U.S. as a way to expand beyond Asia, but most have found it difficult to break into U.S. carriers. Google has long had at least some distribution at U.S. carriers, and recently gotten a commitment from T-Mobile to carry the full Pixel line, so that is another reason for Google to prioritize the U.S. market.

Of course, Google does control Android as a whole. That does seem obvious and not worth mentioning, right? What often gets lost in discussions about Google and Pixels and markets and all that is that even if Google fails to capture one market or the other, its partners can still do so. The Pixel 3a was important when cheap Android phones were crap, the 4a kept that importance when its competitors had poor cameras. With the Galaxy A52 5G and Redmi Note 10 around, the cheap Android phone experience is legitimately good. In the midst of a chip shortage, Google doesn't need to work harder than it has to.

Still so good

Google Pixel 4a

$349 at Amazon $350 at Best Buy $349 at B&H

Almost a year on, the 4a is still the one to beat.

While new entries are starting to try squeezing in on the Pixel 4a's pocket-sized blend of price and performance perfection, none have actually dethroned the value king quite yet. And for the countries that don't get the Pixel 5a, the 4a will continue to be sold for another year as that value continues to grow with deeper discounts.



Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Genshin Impact: When does Update 2.0 release in my region?

Best answer: Server maintenance for Genshin Impact Update 2.0 will begin at 6 a.m. China Standard Time on July 21 (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on July 20). Maintenance is expected to last around five hours and will occur simultaneously for everyone. Does Genshin Impact server maintenance vary by region? Regardless of what time the server maintenance occurs, it will happen simultaneously for everyone. Server maintenance generally lasts around 5 or 6 hours, but given that Update 2.0 is the biggest one yet, it could potentially take even longer. Update 2.0 will release worldwide on July 20 or 21 depending on your time zone. What does Genshin Impact Update 2.0 include? There's a whole lot of content coming with Genshin Impact Update 2.0 . One of the biggest additions is the Inazuma region, which will be the first major region to be added to the game since its launch. It consists of six major islands with ports, mountains, shrines, villages, and more. With Inazuma also comes a new A

How to watch Love Island 2021: Live stream the new series online

Are you ready for another summer of love? A new group of hopefuls is set to descend on the Balearic Island of Majorca for the UK's most talked-about TV dating show. Watch every match-making moment with our Love Island 2021 live stream guide below, and watch the show no matter where in the world you are. After a coronavirus-enforced break from the screens last year, the show returns with Laura Whitmore back to host the romantic action and comedian Iain Stirling once again providing his wise-crackingly sarcastic voiceovers. There's £50,000 up for grabs for the reality show's winner, but that's likely to be some way down the pecking order of what's on the mind of the twenty-something contestants taking part. Viewers in the UK have been given an early glimpse of this season's hopefuls who include a teacher who has never been on a date before and the show's first physically disabled contestant. The last series to be broadcast from Mallorca was won in 201

Unmaze for Android is a stunning adventure through a sinister labyrinth

In a world of light and shadow, guide your loved ones through the maze before monstrosity overtakes them. Your little brother and your boyfriend have been missing for two days. Search parties and authorities aren't turning up any leads, and there's been a string of unsolved missing person cases in your town recently. Looking for answers, you find a strange blue crystal and some ominous notes about a lost civilization in your brother's room. And when you look into the crystal, you can see and hear your boyfriend?! This fascinating horror mystery setup is how Unmaze kicks off, and the plot only thickens from there. You play as Ariadne, a young woman trying to help recover her boyfriend, Theseus, and her younger brother, Asterion, from a mystical maze that she can only see through the crystal she found in Asterion's room. This phenomenal, weird title is definitely going in with the best Android games . Mechanically speaking, the gameplay in Unmaze is very simple,

There are many ways to copy and paste things from your Chromebook

It should come as no surprise that as time has passed everyone by, the best Chromebooks have progressed and become true productivity machines. And while there are a lot of awesome Chromebook tips and tricks that you won't find elsewhere, you'll likely want to know how to do some of the more basic tasks. One such task performed a plethora of times per day is simply copying and pasting text or other items from one place to another. So here's how you can copy and paste on a Chromebook. How to copy and paste with the touchscreen Locate the text that you wish to copy and paste. Double-tap the screen on the text that you wish to copy. Drag the highlight handles to highlight all of the text you want to copy. From the pop-up menu, tap Copy . Navigate to the area where you wish to paste the text. Tap and hold in the space where you wish to paste. Tap Paste from the menu that appears. Using the touchscreen on your Chromebook can be a bit finicky from time