Today Alphabet reported its Q1 2019 earnings, and during the conference call, the company revealed some interesting tidbits related to Pixel phones.
First up, it sounds like the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have been suffering from somewhat slow sales. Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said that "hardware results reflect lower Year-on-Year sales of Pixel reflecting in part heavy promotional activity industry-wide given some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market."
Exact details of sales aren't known, but it's possible that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL may have suffered from lower-than-expected sales due to their pricing. The Pixel 3 phones are more expensive than the Pixels that came before them, with the Pixel 2 starting at $649 and the Pixel 3 starting at $799. The starting price of the Pixel 3 XL grew compared to its predecessor, too.
Of course, Google's flagships aren't the only phones that are getting more expensive. But companies like Apple and Samsung can also rely on the fact that their phones are available across U.S. carriers, while Google's Pixels are only available from Verizon in the U.S. or unlocked. Rumors say that that may soon be changing with a possible Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a launch on T-Mobile, which would help give Pixel sales a boost.
Porat went on to tease Google's upcoming May 7th Pixel announcement, confirming that hardware will be the focus. "With respect to hardware results, while the first quarter results reflect pressures in the premium smartphone industry, we are pleased with the ongoing momentum for Assistant-enabled home devices, particularly the Home Hub and Mini devices and look forward to our May 7th announcement at I/O from the hardware team," Porat said.
Google has previously only said that its May 7th reveal was Pixel-related. It's expected that the announcement will be the oft-leaked Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL phones, which will be lower-cost versions of Google's current flagships.