Google announced its earnings for the second quarter today, and it crushed it like always. But there was some bigger news to come out of the earnings report than just the amount of revenue Google brought in.
The report also showed a pretty big jump in Pixel sales. While Google hasn't (and never has) said how many Pixel units were sold – and the same went for Nexus back in the day – we do know that Pixel sales jumped more than double, year-over-year. According to Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, "with the launch of Pixel 3a in May, overall Pixel unit sales in Q2 grew more than 2x year over year".
Pichai also noted that part of that growth was due to Google expanding its carrier partners with the Pixel 3a. Instead of it only being available at Verizon and at the Google Store, it is now available at T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Spectrum Mobile and a few others.
It's not surprising that this happened though. The Pixel 3a is a much cheaper smartphone, about half the price of the Pixel 3, so it's easier to move more Pixel 3a's. And Google also has the Pixel lineup available at more carriers. Which means more customers are going to be interested in the device. This is something that Google should have done all along, but hadn't.
The fact that Pichai said that Pixel sales more than doubled, compared to a year ago means that Google is still not willing to say how many Pixel devices were sold. Google likes to stay pretty private when it comes to sales numbers. But seeing Pixel smartphone unit sales jump up pretty substantially is a good thing. Last quarter, Google said that the Pixel 3 was doing very poorly, so this quarter it looks to be the exact opposite.
The two reasons for that are: Pixel 3a launch and more carrier partners.
On top of the Pixel 3a being a much cheaper phone, with all of the same great features from other Pixel 3 smartphones, it also launched without any real bugs. Something that really plagued the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In fact, those two phones still have a number of issues with them that haven't been fixed. The Pixel 3a lineup is the first Pixel smartphone from Google that launched without any real issues, and hopefully it's something that we'll see more of in the future.
For Google, Pixel isn't really about selling millions of phones and taking market share away from Samsung and Huawei. Those are Google's partners, so even if Samsung has all of the market share, it still benefits, since it uses Android and runs Google apps. But Google selling its own hardware is also good for the platform, and good for enticing iPhone users over to Android.
Pixel has been the laughing stock of Android for the past few years, because it isn't as popular as really any other brand of smartphone. But it looks like that is changing for Google, as it starts to get the hang of how to make good smartphones.