Google Doubles Down on Hardware with New Pixel Watch and Phones
By Jim Lundy
Google held its annual Google I/O Conference earlier in May. The event held in Mountain View was only open to employees and friends. Analysts and Customers attended virtually.
In addition to providing an update on AI and developer tools, Google doubled down on its commitment to developing and selling its own mobile hardware – with the Pixel 6a and 7 Smartphones and the Pixel Tablet. Google saved the best announcement for last with the new Google Pixel Watch.
This blog analyzes these moves, which essentially hope to match what Apple and Samsung have been profiting from.
The Google Pixel Watch Stole the Show at Google I/O 2022
The long-awaited Pixel Watch was one of the highlights of Google I/O. To us, this is a catch-up move (and overdue) considering Google did buy Fitbit. Aragon expects brisk sales of the Pixel Watch – given that it is the perfect complement to an Android Phone.
The Google Pixel Watch goes on sale in the Fall. Pricing was not disclosed. Google does have some catch-up to do here. The Apple Watch is contributing solid revenue and profit to Apple. The good news is that Google is now close to being back in the wearables game.
Google Pixel 6a and Pixel 7–Be Like Apple
Google has a hit on its handles with its Pixel series of Smart Phones. The 6a, which is similar to the iPhone SE, is a lower-end version of the Pixel 6 with a lower price point of $450. The popular Pixel 6 Smartphone was introduced last year. The 6a may actually increase demand for Google Phones since they now have a number of different price points.
Like Apple, Google is going with its own processor–the Titan M2.
The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro announcement was more along the lines of “watch this space”. Google announced few details on the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, but they did show prototypes. It could be a risky move to announce the 7 and 7 Pro before they ship late this year, but Google just put it all out there.
The All-in-One Device Strategy is Winning
With Google and Microsoft now making their own devices, it appears that Apple, which pioneered this approach, won and because they were the first mover, they have profited more than others.
Analysis: Google Mobile Devices Plus Chromebooks is a Threat
Google now has a fleet of devices with an operating system that is becoming a little more common given Chrome. This represents a compelling option for enterprises when they are evaluating Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and others.
Security and Hardware
One thing that will be a critical selection criterion is security. We are not just talking about operating systems–we are talking about the hardware itself. More hardware is becoming infected during either manufacturing or during transit and this has caused enterprises to re-evaluate their suppliers.
We’d note that all manufacturers are subject to attacks. Google is one of the vendors taking Security very seriously. They were quick to respond to the recent hack of Chrome.
The Bottom Line
Google has now demonstrated that it is serious about its device business. With the Pixel series of devices, Google should now be evaluated as a full alternative to Apple for Mobile and to PC providers, given their surge with Chromebooks. Enterprises should start to evaluate Google as a full supplier and look for more roadmaps that will help to meet short and long-term enterprise needs.