Google's Pixel 3 is a third strike for hapless HTC and LG

Posted:
in iPhone
Two years of Google selling "Pixel" branded versions of HTC and LG handsets have done nothing to arrest the slide that both Android licensees are seeing in their mobile sales. Will more exclusive machine learning and artificial intelligence features on Pixel 3 models do anything to change that?

Pixel 3
Google's Pixel phones look like an iPhone but don't sell well or generate profits

HTC gets pixelated

Ten years ago, Google offered Taiwan's HTC a lifeline of sorts in the form of an Android partnership for the original HTC Dream, followed by Nexus One. However, the former Windows Mobile contract manufacturer hasn't fared so well since. Google's last two years of HTC-built Pixels have done nothing to help the struggling company.

After its initial work with HTC, Google moved on to partner with Samsung, then LG and Motorola. HTC's next collaboration on Google's Nexus 9 tablet was a bust. Selected by Google to build the Pixel and Pixel 2, HTC's sales have slipped faster and faster down a slope towards oblivion.

HTC reports revenues monthly, and the story they outline is one of dramatic failure. Across 2018, HTC's revenues have increasingly plummeted.

The seasonal boost in September 2017 didn't occur in 2018 at all, with the company chalking up an 80 percent decrease in HTC's revenues. Overall, HTC's revenues in 2018 have collapsed by 57.7 percent.

HTC revenues 2018
HTC revenues are circling the drain every faster, despite its Pixel partnership with Google


That's in comparison to 2017, when HTC was already experiencing problems with selling its phones. Rather than helping, another generation of Pixel 2 ransacked HTC's 9 months of revenues from 46,372 NT (nearly $1.5 billion) to a mere 19,507 NT ($600 million). That's even before looking at HTC's profits, which are a function of its volumes of sales.

LG gets XL-pixelated

Google's three generations of larger Pixel XL phones are built by LG. Those sales aren't helping to stabilize things for LG, which has been actively losing money on its Mobile Communications operations.

While the rest of LG's consolidated operations are profitable, its MC group that builds Pixel XL as well as LG's own handsets reported a year over year decline in revenues of 19.2 percent, and drop in operating income over twice as large: down 45.7 percent over the year-ago second-quarter.

LG Q2 2018


LG noted its MC unit sales "declined QoQ and YoY due to stagnating smartphone market and decreasing sales of mid to low-end smartphones in North and Latin America," and blamed its collapse in profits on "decreased QoQ and YoY due to smartphone sales decline and increase in marketing expense to support new flagship product."

Looking ahead to Q3, during which Apple launched its new iPhone XS and iPhone XR models, LG noted, "competition in the premium smartphone market is expected to intensify due to stagnant smartphone demand and competitors launching new products."

LG 2018 outlook

Google triples down on its failed Pixel strategy

Google's Nexus and Pixel re-brandings of Android licensee hardware were supposed to be a combination of a strategy to build a base of users dependent upon Google's services and/or an object lesson for Android licensees to show them how to successfully build desirable, successful Android phones. By either metric, Google's Nexus and Pixel have failed disastrously over the last ten years.

Why did the last two generations of Pixel phones perform so badly? Google pursued a software-first strategy that promoted exclusive, proprietary camera features that other Android phones didn't have. But, there was little else offered to make Pixel competitive with other Android devices that cost far less than Google was asking.

Nothing about Pixel or Pixel 2 really offered anything to aggressively compete with last year's iPhone, let alone the newest iPhones Apple released at the same time.

In dramatic contrast to Apple's supply chain expertise, Google's Pixel is effectively helping to starve its own supply chain to death. Yet while sources from Bloomberg to the Wall Street Journal and Japan's Nikkei desperately search for potential problems among the often-false rumors surrounding Apple's tentacles of production, there's been nothing but glowing admiration for Google's decade of ineffectual stabs at building a hardware business.

There's not even any pointed criticism of Google's round-robin strategy of throwing resources at one Android licensee, then yanking support to work with another. When Apple switches suppliers, there's full, detailed coverage of the poor plight of the company that loses its business. Apple is even held to blame for App Store developers who can't find success.

Yet, nobody in Android-land blames Google for the overall lack of commercial returns from Android. Among hardware partners, Android has been especially problematic.

The Lethal Google Phone

Google's devastating impact on HTC and LG is particularly notable because Pixel and Pixel 2 were supposed to be evidence that Google could produce an iPhone-priced, premium Android phone -- if only it could bypass bumbling, adware-infatuated Android licensees. Yet after Google took the reins, HTC and LG went from having problems to suffering full-blown crises.

Google's supposedly stellar "brand value," and its tenacious grip on web advertising didn't help one iota to push a significant number of buyers to pay a premium for Pixel phones (or its Pixel-branded Android tablet, which ended up canceled entirely).

This wasn't a unique event. Google previously destroyed any real hope for Nest by taking it over and seeking to align it with its true vision of Android. And before that, Google's takeover of Motorola turned out massive flops like Moto X, which not only failed to make money but actually incinerated $700 million across just the last six months of its production.

The tech media appeared completely blind to any possibility that Google might not be widely successful in hardware, despite its foundering for years in failed attempts to produce phones, tablets, TV boxes and other experiments under the Nexus, Q, Chromebook, and Pixel brands. Given Google's history before the phone, it should have been easy to predict that the company's best-case scenario might be facilitating the production of cheap phones for the low-end, mass market, not a premium device to rival Apple's iPhone.

But just months before Google gave up and sold off the one-time American icon to a Chinese company, Steven Levy wrote the official company line in an article for Wired: "Moto X is the first in a series of hardware products that Google hopes will supercharge the mother company's software and services."

After Google's five generations of Nexus, two cycles of Moto X and now its third attempt with Pixel, it's getting increasingly ridiculous to suggest that Google's well-established failure in designing, producing and marketing hardware is going to be reversed by new software update plans, new software technology, or a clever new machine learning software feature.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    edited October 11 hammeroftruthairnerdmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 53
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    tedp88airnerdmuthuk_vanalingamclaire1
  • Reply 3 of 53
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,057member
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    No, the article is looking at the Pixel line from a business lens and NOT just an Apple lens. Through this lens, the Pixel line of phones is an abject failure.
    ronnStrangeDaysclaire1lostkiwijony0
  • Reply 4 of 53
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,057member

    gatorguy said:
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    In June, it was consistently reported LG was the manufacture. Basically, there are two different rumors claiming (consistently) who got the contract to build the phone: A May rumor of a Foxxcon subsidiary and a late June one of LG. I doubt there will be a Pixel 4 and we will see a new rebranding using the HTC acquired talent.
    ronnleavingthebiggjony0
  • Reply 5 of 53
    The issue is that the Google Lens of the article has been collapsing for several years! Intelligence of edge devices and shifting power to mesh and edge networks that bypass the Google sphere is emerging from both Apple and Qualcomm. The convergence of communications, distributed discrete computing and now bidirectional ATSC 3 broadcast challenge Google’s model on multiple levels.

    LG is positioned as a provider of consumer products to benefit from a more intelligent edge computing environment. HTC could also benefit, but that remains to be seen if they can pivot. Qualcomm is clearly developing in that direction along with many new entrants in the silicon space. George Gilder has correctly predicted to decline of Google and its monolithic model, but it also impacts Amazon and to a lesser degree Apple. The future will be interesting, but filled with human innovation not machines controlling our lives.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    19831983 Posts: 1,101member
    So basically just another Google bashing article here then.
    edited October 11 airnerdsingularitymuthuk_vanalingamavon b7randy magruderDonmars
  • Reply 7 of 53
    thttht Posts: 2,848member
    Like most of these type of articles, I think they are critiques or treatises on the media treatment of certain companies. Eg, Google hardware is given an outsized media blitz, eg, The Verge fawns over all things Google hardware, relative to the importance of the hardware to the market and the company itself. 

    Google is a monopoly in Internet advertising by way of its Internet services. From a business perspective, that is a get out of jail free card for all other projects at the company. It’s also a force multiplier on any of their side projects as they can leverage their monopoly to enter new markets. Amazon is the same way. It’s an easy story for media to tell. 

    Failure of side projects for these companies have no consequence on their business, and the story of failure of those projects are snorefests for the media to write about because of these companies’ monopolistic positions. 
    georgie01muthuk_vanalingamlostkiwirevenantjony0
  • Reply 8 of 53
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    The article was largely addressing the media’s expectations and the directly and indirectly expressed goals by Google. For instance, it’s pretty obvious when Google bought Motorola their goal wasn’t to have relatively measly phone sales. That failure hasn’t affected Google all that negatively, perhaps due to the reasons you said, but that isn’t the point. Google has had a number of spectacular failures from the same standard the media uses to measure other large mobile tech businesses and from the standard of Google’s expressed goals.
    StrangeDaysclaire1lostkiwijony0
  • Reply 9 of 53
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,134member
    glfrost said:
    The issue is that the Google Lens of the article has been collapsing for several years! Intelligence of edge devices and shifting power to mesh and edge networks that bypass the Google sphere is emerging from both Apple and Qualcomm. The convergence of communications, distributed discrete computing and now bidirectional ATSC 3 broadcast challenge Google’s model on multiple levels.

    LG is positioned as a provider of consumer products to benefit from a more intelligent edge computing environment. HTC could also benefit, but that remains to be seen if they can pivot. Qualcomm is clearly developing in that direction along with many new entrants in the silicon space. George Gilder has correctly predicted to decline of Google and its monolithic model, but it also impacts Amazon and to a lesser degree Apple. The future will be interesting, but filled with human innovation not machines controlling our lives.
    Advertisers flocking from Google to Amazon, is not a good sign, but that is primarily U.S.

    Apple is in a very good position for edge computing, aka, wearables, even though Siri is still an also ran to date.
    airnerd
  • Reply 10 of 53
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    steven n. said:

    gatorguy said:
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    In June, it was consistently reported LG was the manufacture. Basically, there are two different rumors claiming (consistently) who got the contract to build the phone: A May rumor of a Foxxcon subsidiary and a late June one of LG. I doubt there will be a Pixel 4 and we will see a new rebranding using the HTC acquired talent.
    Where did you see that LG built them? Proof to the contrary was news that Google was in contact with Foxconn and not LG about Pixel phones that had made their way to a Russian seller/blogger. 

    I think you've confused LG being the display provider with LG building the phones. I don't find a single report in June or anytime since about LG building the Pixel 3's. Do you have a link?
    edited October 11
  • Reply 11 of 53
    After Google's five generations of Nexus, two cycles of Moto X and now its third attempt with Pixel, it's getting increasingly ridiculous to suggest that Google's well-established failure in designing, producing and marketing hardware is going to be reversed by new software update plans, new software technology, or a clever new machine learning software feature.

    Well, this is wrong. There were SEVEN generations of the Nexus line.

    Nexus One (HTC)
    Nexus S (Samsung)
    Galaxy Nexus (Samsung)
    Nexus 4 (LG)
    Nexus 5 (LG)
    Nexus 6 (Motorola)
    Nexus 5X and 6P (LG and Huawei)
  • Reply 12 of 53
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,057member
    gatorguy said:
    steven n. said:

    gatorguy said:
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    In June, it was consistently reported LG was the manufacturer  Basically, there are two different rumors claiming (consistently) who got the contract to build the phone: A May rumor of a Foxxcon subsidiary and a late June one of LG. I doubt there will be a Pixel 4 and we will see a new rebranding using the HTC acquired talent.
    Where did you see that LG built them? Proof to the contrary was news that Google was in contact with Foxconn and not LG about Pixel phones that had made their way to a Russian seller/blogger. 

    I think you've confused LG being the display provider with LG building the phones. I don't find a single report in June or anytime since about LG building the Pixel 3's. Do you have a link?
    The LG rumor was carried by Android Central (with "proof on contract" for final assembly) and picked up by BI and DigiTimes. Basically, they are RUMORS. We will need a full tear down to probably see the metaphorical fingerprints of the actual manufacturer.

    In short, as always, you seem to conflate "truth", "fact", "rumor" and "opinion" as being interchangeable.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,275member
    steven n. said:
    gatorguy said:
    steven n. said:

    gatorguy said:
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    In June, it was consistently reported LG was the manufacturer  Basically, there are two different rumors claiming (consistently) who got the contract to build the phone: A May rumor of a Foxxcon subsidiary and a late June one of LG. I doubt there will be a Pixel 4 and we will see a new rebranding using the HTC acquired talent.
    Where did you see that LG built them? Proof to the contrary was news that Google was in contact with Foxconn and not LG about Pixel phones that had made their way to a Russian seller/blogger. 

    I think you've confused LG being the display provider with LG building the phones. I don't find a single report in June or anytime since about LG building the Pixel 3's. Do you have a link?
    The LG rumor was carried by Android Central (with "proof on contract" for final assembly) and picked up by BI and DigiTimes. Basically, they are RUMORS. We will need a full tear down to probably see the metaphorical fingerprints of the actual manufacturer.

    In short, as always, you seem to conflate "truth", "fact", "rumor" and "opinion" as being interchangeable.
    Link? A search there came up empty for me. You made the claim, I just wanted to read the story you got it from. If there isn't one just say you might have been wrong. No big deal and certainly no need to pull out silly comments like me not making my opinions clear from facts. What do you think it means when I use IMO (the very first post) and AFAICT (also post1) and AFAIK? So silly to say something that's so easily shown false.

    It's your "fact" to prove about LG being reported to be the manufacturer as late as June this year. You might be right even tho my opinion (notice that?) is you're confused, but it's up to you to show it. 
    edited October 11
  • Reply 14 of 53
    steven n. said:
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    No, the article is looking at the Pixel line from a business lens and NOT just an Apple lens. Through this lens, the Pixel line of phones is an abject failure.
    Failure based on what? Everyone here says that market share isn’t an important metric. Based on how a Google is pricing these phones I have to imagine they’re making decent margins on them. Same with Microsoft and Surface.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    steven n. said:
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    No, the article is looking at the Pixel line from a business lens and NOT just an Apple lens. Through this lens, the Pixel line of phones is an abject failure.
    And that is the wrong lens to use because Pixel is not just a standalone line of business from Google's perspective
  • Reply 16 of 53
    1983 said:
    So basically just another Google bashing article here then.

    Amazing how things that are supposedly so unimportant get so much ink here. Sure tech sites cover Google hardware. I have yet to see these new phones get much outside of tech press though. Interesting too how market share doesn’t matter except when it’s someone not named Apple. Then low market share is  equated to failure.
    edited October 11 muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 17 of 53
    georgie01 said:
    This article is looking at Google through an Apple lens rather than a Google one. Pixel is just one element in Google's mobile strategy. They make more money by getting their services into the hands of more people - whether they are using a Pixel, a Galaxy, an iPhone, a desktop or a home device. The Pixel phones are ugly as anything on the market but they focus on bringing the standard of camera right up and providing a platform to showcase their services. If this drives all of their Android partners to work harder then Google wins. Apple makes money from hardware sales, Google makes it from eyeballs and ears. Also, I don't think you can say that Google has failed in hardware. Chromecasts, Nest, and Home devices are all incredibly successful. Google's business model doesn't require it to make a profit on the hardware, it's a channel for its services and advertising.
    The article was largely addressing the media’s expectations and the directly and indirectly expressed goals by Google. For instance, it’s pretty obvious when Google bought Motorola their goal wasn’t to have relatively measly phone sales. That failure hasn’t affected Google all that negatively, perhaps due to the reasons you said, but that isn’t the point. Google has had a number of spectacular failures from the same standard the media uses to measure other large mobile tech businesses and from the standard of Google’s expressed goals.
    I have to admit that I usually skip over any lines where one one-eyed media outlet is complaining about how other media outlets are one eyed. Maybe I'm too cynical and filter out all of the hype but I didn't notice any high expectations before this week's event as most of the announcements had already been leaked. The response was mostly "Meh",  "That notch is ugly", and "camera is great". Phones are like PCs now, there will only be incremental and fairly predictable improvements from now on. The innovation will come from other areas like home automation and AI. 
  • Reply 18 of 53
    It's so obvious that this writer is an all-out Apple fan.  I understand that.  However, after using the Nexus 6, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 10 and Pixel 2 XL, I have to say that my personal preference has shifted away from Apple.  My 2014 Nexus 6 still works fast and is a great phone.  My iPhone 7 Plus was great for the Portrait mode, although the upgrade to the iPhone 10 was a mistake.  2 OLED display failures made me switch to the Pixel 2 XL - mainly for photography.  The quality and feel of the device, in my opinion, was superior to the iPhone.  It was fast, no lag, took great photos (even with only 1 camera), and wasn't full of useless bloatware.  Plus, the actual phone call quality was superior.  I understand that Apple fans hate everything Google, and that's unlikely to change - but Google has their hands, feet (and most importantly - brains) in the game.  They're moving in the right direction.  Plus, the Nest reference in this article is BS -- Nest has high-quality products that just work.  Apple has Siri.  
    muthuk_vanalingamDonmars
  • Reply 19 of 53
    1983 said:
    So basically just another Google bashing article here then.
    You lost, bro? Apple site, check. Opinion columnist who routinely points out why Apple does it better than Google, check.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    steven n. said:
    gatorguy said:
    steven n. said:

    gatorguy said:
    I think the writer's main story premise may be wrong, making the entire article suspect. 

    Neither LG nor HTC built the Pixel 3/3XL AFAICT. Google used Foxconn according to industry sources, as consistently reported since back in May, so all the talk around LG and HTC's smartphone business is nice and all but really has little to nothing to do with this years Pixel 3's. 

    HTC may have still have had some early engineering work invested, and probably did, since Google didn't take control of the team behind it until early this year, perhaps in January? I'd have to check the news.  By generation 4 next year Google will be out of excuses, it's all on them whether they can demonstrate any design prowess or not. But HTC and LG building this year's Pixels as assumed in the article? I don't think so. The two designs being so very similar should have been an obvious red flag that two different manufacturers hadn't designed and built them. Just looks at last year's models compared to this year. 

    IMO Alphabet has picked a bad time to jump into the business with both feet, but whatever. Smartphones have become a bit boring to be honest, not much flashiness and oooh features being seen the past year or so from anyone. What there is seems more related to AI/computational enhancements for things like phone calls, photos, and smart device control.  If Alphabet can actually pull an oooh-and-aahh phone out of its hat next year it will come as a stunner, but I'm not holding my breath. IMO smartphones are stagnating more than stunning us. 
    In June, it was consistently reported LG was the manufacturer  Basically, there are two different rumors claiming (consistently) who got the contract to build the phone: A May rumor of a Foxxcon subsidiary and a late June one of LG. I doubt there will be a Pixel 4 and we will see a new rebranding using the HTC acquired talent.
    Where did you see that LG built them? Proof to the contrary was news that Google was in contact with Foxconn and not LG about Pixel phones that had made their way to a Russian seller/blogger. 

    I think you've confused LG being the display provider with LG building the phones. I don't find a single report in June or anytime since about LG building the Pixel 3's. Do you have a link?
    The LG rumor was carried by Android Central (with "proof on contract" for final assembly) and picked up by BI and DigiTimes. Basically, they are RUMORS. We will need a full tear down to probably see the metaphorical fingerprints of the actual manufacturer.

    In short, as always, you seem to conflate "truth", "fact", "rumor" and "opinion" as being interchangeable.
    Save your oxygen, when you’re talking to this guy you have to paraphrase this line from Chinatown: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Google-town.”
    claire1
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