In addition to being marketed as the first ever phones “made by Google”, with actual OEM (or rather ODM now) emblems entirely absent from their designs, the Pixel and Pixel XL might well be the Mountain View search giant’s first mainstream-oriented high-end hardware products.
Sure, the Android purist niche probably remains the easiest target audience, but with wide Verizon availability, the best possible specs, unique software tricks like Google Assistant, and an unpretentious, straightforward look, the Nexus-replacing duo can arguably broaden its appeal.
Since El Goog never cared much about sales numbers… until now, we’re left guessing as to how successful the Pixel and Pixel XL would be deemed if they hit 4 million unit shipments by the end of 2016 alone.
That’s the height of a very early box-office estimate devised by Digitimes Research senior analyst Luke Lin, with the Snapdragon 821-powered handhelds projected to sell 3 million copies through December 31 in the worst case scenario.
Needless to stress there’s no comparing the prospective tally to iPhone 7/7 Plus scores. Or even to the post-explosion debacle Galaxy Note 7, still expected to rack up around 8 million shipments, as long as a second recall is not in order.
For silent manufacturing partner HTC however, 3 or 4 mil could be quite a big deal, its own-branded smartphones barely crossing the 6M line for the entire first half of 2016.