Google is following Apple’s move and is reportedly looking to debut a lower-cost smartphone that can compete with the iPhone XR.
The cheaper handset is just one part of an “aggressive push into hardware,” according to Nikkei. The ultimate goal is to draw more users into the Google ecosystem in an effort to push its software services. A similar tactic has proven to be fairly successful for Apple.
Google is also apparently looking to take advantage of recent issues with Apple’s iPhone sales. As consumers slow their upgrade cycles and purchase cheaper devices, the Mountain View tech giant is looking to debut a device aimed specifically at these market conditions and undercut Apple.
The lower-cost Pixel would be Google’s first branded, non-premium device. While it’s meant to compete with the $749 iPhone XR, Nikkei notes that it could actually be priced lower than the Apple handset.
Currently, Google’s Pixel 3 starts at $799. That’s just $50 more than Apple’s cheapest 2018 smartphone.
Earlier this year, alleged pictures and details of Google’s iPhone XR competitor leaked. The device looks a lot like a Pixel, but with a plastic shell. It’s also rumored to feature an LCD panel, a Snapdragon 760 processor, 32GB of storage, 4GB of RAM, a headphone jack, and the same widely praised camera as other Pixel devices.
But a budget-friendly device is just one part of that “aggressive push.” Nikkei notes that Google has more hardware products on the table, including smart speakers, wearables, and web cameras.
Google has apparently been planning this hardware push for a couple of years now. It’s been snatching up former Apple talent and expanding its supply chain network in Asia, Nikkei reports.
On the other hand, Google being Google, it’s pretty clear that it sees wider adoption of its hardware as a potential money maker in itself.
IDC analyst Joey Yen told Nikkei that getting people to use Google devices is a “more direct way to collect user data” and make its services more important to everyday users.
It’s not clear when Google will debut the lower-cost handset or other hardware products. But the next big Google event, Google I/O in May, seems like the likeliest place to do so.