The Google Pixel phone has arrived, in two sizes, complete with the company’s new public image for their brand. The letter G, simplicity in all things, the absence of over-thinking names for apps and connecting devices to other smart devices and those devices to the web. If we’re to believe Google will do what we’re fairly sure they will do, this isn’t going to be about a spec war. Google has long since discovered that their biggest competitor(s) don’t play on that basketball court, anyway.
The game Apple plays is in design and advertising. Apple has created in the public the perception that their smartphone is the most desirable. They might suggest that the iPhone is the best, and that the iPad is the best – and that’s arguable. But what they’re doing is harnessing the power of perception to such a degree that iOS device users don’t feel the need to switch to a different brand, just so long as Apple still exists and still continues to make new devices.
Google, on the other hand, has been cultivating an ecosystem of software that works on all manner of devices. They’ve been creating an operating system that supports many different brands, each making their own iteration of what Google’s baseline Nexus smartphone line presents. They’ve been doing everything right for people that love an open environment with freedom of implementation on a wide variety of different sorts of hardware.
If Android is a public drinking fountain Google’s been running for the past 8 years, Pixel is Google’s first set of self-branded bottled water.
Those looking for a whole new era of devices with specifications that put past generations to shame will be disappointed, at least mildly.
Google’s next wave, with Pixel, is not about competing on benchmarks, or taking the best photos, or having the longest battery life (though they’ll probably speak about these things here and there). Google’s next wave is about perception.
Google will aim to make the world perceive that they’re ready to usher in a new age of quality control over their devices. They’ll be responsible for how each device looks, feels, and functions.
Updates won’t just be made to make Android look good. Updates will be made to make Pixel devices function better. Updates will be made to make Pixel gain new features.
The first couple of Pixel phones will be manufactured by HTC. Not entirely unlike how HTC makes the Vive VR headset and Valve sells it – and HTC sells it too – HTC will make the first couple of Pixel phones.
Google wont likely be as up front about who’s behind the wheel with Pixel’s hardware bits as Valve is with the Vive, but it won’t be that different a story.
The most important part of this Pixel brand, for Google, is that the public perceives that they’re finally selling the Google Phone, with a big fat “G” on the back so we know who guarantees it.
Have a peek at our brand new Google Pixel portal on Twitter for all the Pixel-ated fun your mind can handle, well through the future!