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Google doubling down on Pixel as iPhone eats into Samsung’s lead

Google is reportedly planning on focusing more of its resources on its Pixel hardware department due to worries over Apple’s iPhone eating away at Samsung’s market share.

The Information has published a report, apparently based on an internal document, claiming that Google is growing concerned over the smartphone performance of its biggest Android partner. Google is said to be worried that Samsung is losing customers to the mighty iPhone in mature markets.

Perhaps even worse for Google is the looming threat of US antitrust regulators, who are looking into the internet giant’s longstanding agreement with Apple to position Google as the default search engine in Safari. If they rule against the agreement at some point in the future, it would mean losing ad income from a whole heap of iPhone users.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s solution to this worrying dual threat is to double down on the company’s own Pixel hardware efforts. This includes moving product development and software engineering staff over from non-Google hardware projects to Google’s own-branded devices.

This won’t apparently involve reducing support for Samsung itself, but will involve reducing its support for car manufacturers using its Android Automotive operating system.

It’s a bold strategy given recent analyst data claiming that suggests Google’s total Pixel sales since 2016 have amounted to a tenth of Samsung smartphone sales in 2021 alone, and a similarly low proportion of Apple’s iPhone sales.

The company is arguably on the right track, however, with last year’s Google Pixel 6 range representing its most ambitious smartphone hardware in years. This year’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are fairly straight forward refinements of their predecessors, but no less competitive for that fact.

Whether future Google Pixel phones can challenge Apple’s iPhone on sales as well as sheer quality remains to be seen.

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