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The Pixel 4 is doing surprisingly well, but it’s not all good news for Google

Google’s Pixel 4 phones are selling surprisingly well, despite suffering a rocky start, according to fresh data from Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics analyst Yiwen Wu revealed there was a boom in Google phone shipments at the end of last year in a Q4 ’19: Google: Volume Up but Remain in Red report.

“Google posted a strong quarter in Q4 2019 with a +29% YoY growth by shipments. North America and Western Europe remained as the two biggest volume contributors for Google’s smartphone business,” she wrote in a blog post.

“Despite wide-spread reports of buggy software, Google’s new Pixel 4 series are sold well during the holiday season thanks to the successful channel expansion. Pixel’s performance in Asia Pacific remained modest due to the tough competition, limited channel presence, and absence in some major markets.”

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The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL are the latest flagship smartphones from Google. They launched in October last year and are being marketed as the ultimate camera phones.

They are the first Google phones to feature multi-sensor camera arrangements. We found the cameras are leading in class during our in-depth Pixel 4 review, but issues with battery life hindered their overall appeal.

Wu said that Google’s phone making division is still struggling, despite the surprising growth.

“Despite the robust growth in volume and ASP, Google still posted loss for its smartphone business. To turn around the hardware business, Google needs to further extend distribution partners and regional footprints to scale up volumes,” she said.

“In addition, we would recommend Google to strengthen the battery performance of upcoming Pixel line-ups, and to invest more in Western Europe region as a new growth engine.”

The report follows widespread rumblings Google will release new Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a XL phones in the very near future.

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There’s no official information about either phone, but they’re expected to pull the same trick as last year’s Pixel 3a line, offering buyers the same camera setup as the full fat Pixel 4, but with slightly downgraded specs and a much more affordable price.