It’s always risky to try to forecast the long-term box-office results of a smartphone manufacturer or even a single product, but with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 out of the picture, iPhone popularity on a small decline, and Chinese OEMs still struggling stateside, Morgan Stanley feels safe anticipating solid Google Pixel scores.
By Nexus standards, at least, because compared to the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7, the 3 million units the financial corporation expects Big G to sell this year, as well as 5 to 6 mil in 2017, are far from great.
What Morgan Stanley focuses on is the revenue likely to be generated directly by Pixel and Pixel XL shipments, namely around $2 billion in the latter stages of 2016, plus $3.8 billion throughout next year. Once again, that’s a mere drop in Apple or Samsung’s high-end device earnings oceans, but it might propel Google among the world’s most profitable mobile hardware makers. If you ignore the fact the Android 7.1 powerhouses are actually produced by HTC.
Either way, the Mountain View-based search giant is looking at decent profits here, charging $649 for an entry-level Pixel that commands a $241 bill of materials and roughly $230 in “other COGS” (cost of goods sold), including depreciation & amortization, royalties and warranty expenses.
“Android user monetization” should also help Google make money long after Pixels leave its warehouses, through app and accessory purchases, Android Pay transactions, and pricier ads pushed to the ecosystem’s biggest spenders.