Google killed off the Nexus brand earlier this year and replaced it with the launch of two premium smartphones, dubbed the Pixel and Pixel XL. They come with pretty similar hardware and are differentiated primarily by the size and resolution of their screens. While the former features a 5-inch 1080p display and costs $649 for the base 32GB variant, the later sports a 5.5-inch QHD panel and comes with a $769 price-tag for the same storage option. While the death of the Nexus brand proved highly-unpopular with Android purists initially, most have seemed to quickly warm to the Pixel devices, which were the two first smartphones to launch with Android Nougat pre-installed, even though LG beat Google to the post by announcing the Nougat-running V20 before the Pixels were made public.
Now that the two Google phones have been on the market for some time, a new report now claims that they have quickly moved up the chart to become two of the most in-demand smartphones in the U.S., in spite of limited stocks and Verizon exclusivity. According to a paper published by Wave7 Research, as much as 12.3-percent of all smartphones sold at Verizon stores this month are Google Pixel devices. The two smartphones, however, are in short supply. According to Wave7, big red is struggling to keep up with demand for the two devices, with most units now slated to ship after Christmas or even next month. The report from Wave7 is backed up by Mr. Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research, who cited the increasing popularity of the two Verizon-exclusive phones as one of the reasons why Sprint’s net postpaid subscriber adds will fall short of expectations during the current quarter.
While the supply bottleneck is preventing Google from racking up the numbers further, it does indicate that the search giant has finally managed to do with the Pixel line what it seemingly failed to do with its Nexus devices – get rid of the geeky image and appeal to a broader, more mainstream consumer base. One thing that has helped is the high-voltage marketing campaign, which has apparently been “on the scale of an Apple or Samsung”, according to BayStreet Analyst Mr. Cliff Maldonado. Add to that the largely-positive reviews and the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, and you'll see why Google pretty much had the perfect storm to make its first-generation Pixel smartphones a complete and unqualified financial success, in spite of a demand-supply mismatch and the Verizon-exclusivity.