The Google Play Store usually updates installation counts for the apps it hosts every couple days or so, so if you’re just as surprised as we are that the Pixel Launcher has only just clawed up from the 500,000 installation threshold to the 1 million mark, then we aren’t alone.
The Pixel Launcher app, which is on the Play Store as a means of keeping the home screen experience updated more often than the firmware on the device, is exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, so the install count would prove telling on how well Google has been able to get devices to its customers. And comparing the analyst forecasts of 9 million unit shipments by the end of this year with the reality that chronic inventory shortages have kept would-be Pixel users in the swamp… well, it ain’t a pretty picture.
What doesn’t help is some recent statistical noise as some Pixel C users with Android 7.1.2 have been getting the Pixel Launcher as well.
Perhaps this number belies the true number of sales made. Despite all of its faults, the Pixel has been a notable name drop in phone purchasing conversations right next to the “Galaxies”. Still, we’d have to come up with some evidence we don’t have to pan that thesis out.