Google’s Pixel 3a may be the key to the company spreading beyond the most basic version of a smartphone company – hardware-wise. While it always seemed like Google SHOULD be able to make the best-selling smartphone with Android (since they own Android), it’s never truly come to pass – until now. Now that Google’s adopted a two tiered system, not just a two-sized system, they’ve tapped a market they’ve never really commanded before: The “how is it possible that they’re selling this phone for this price” market.
We’ve been trained to think that smartphones should cost many hundreds of dollars if we’re aiming for the best-on-market machine. We’ve been pushed in this direction over the past decade. If we start at around 2007 when the first iPhone was released (and the true smartphone wars began), the best-in-market phone cost approximately $500 USD.
SEE TOO: Our Google Pixel 3a Review
In the past decade, smartphone companies went from having dozens of different smartphones released each year to having only a handful, now back to somewhere in-between. Now we’re at a sort of sweet spot, and companies like Samsung have smartphones at ever price tier from a couple hundred dollars all the way over a thousand.
Now we have Google seeming to get serious about selling smartphones for the first time, ever. They had to know that the first couple of years on the market wouldn’t destroy all competitors – hence the less-than-massive marketing push for the Pixel 1 and 2, and maybe even 3.
Now, here before the Google Pixel 4, Google’s played a card that signals their intent to take on the biggest names in mobile devices. They’ve allowed their most “magical” features to be sold in the form of a “budget” smartphone by the name of Google Pixel 3a. They’ve got the brand, one of the most recognizable and trusted brands in the world. They’ve got the hardware – they’ve got a team that’s been responsible for some of the most iconic smartphones in history (with HTC).
With the Pixel 3a, Google’s struck gold, and they’re striking while the iron is hot. Right this minute, Amazon’s best-selling “unlocked cell phone” is the Google Pixel 3a in “Just Black” for $388. This device is out-selling phones like the Samsung Galaxy A10 (second in line with a near full-frontal display and a price of $134 USD) and the iPhone 6 (“renewed” sorta like refurbished, unlocked for around $137 USD).
This might have something to do with the offer sent to owners of the Google Pixel 3a this week. This offer suggested that if someone used the code included with the email, both the sender of the code and the person buying the phone would get $50 in credit in the Google Play store.
Google’s making the effort this time, prepping the world for the Google Pixel 4 by selling as many Google Pixel 3a as possible. They could sell this phone at a loss and still come out ahead, once these users demonstrate the power of the camera within. By the time August rolls up and we see the Google Pixel 4, people will be clamoring to grab it.