The race to beat the Chinese smartphone makers at their own game appears to be well and truly on. As per reports appearing in certain sections online, Google is planning to release 2 smartphones via the US carrier, Verizon. The phones are hinted as Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3XL Lite. The ‘Lite’ seems to be the fashion now to denote a budget phone, as you have been hearing about Samsung planning a Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite. Since the release is expected to be through Verizon, it may be limited to the US market, though nothing stops the company from launching the devices elsewhere.
Toned-Down Specifications Indicated
The rumored specifications for the Verizon-Google Pixel 3XL Lite include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The display size could be 5.5 inches or at best 6 inches.
The common problem most high-end smartphone makers like Apple, Samsung and Google are facing is the market is at one level saturated and it is no longer easy to sell millions of pieces at prices above $800-$900. The customer base for devices priced above $1000 may be further dwindling. And the real challenge is there are Chinese brands like OnePlus which market their smartphones with almost equivalent specifications at much lower prices. This attempt by Google in launching these devices could be to counter these.
Will it Work in the US Market?
That seems to be the question playing on a lot of people’s minds. Have Google and Verizon studied the US smartphone market? Do they believe there is a market for a phone with these above-mentioned specifications? Is 32 GB the norm for internal storage when the industry has moved on and more phones are keeping 64 GB as the lowest level for onboard storage? What will happen to the much-appreciated camera function in the Google Pixel 3 and 3XL launched this year? With they also be downgraded in the budget devices to be launched through Verizon?
But if Google and Verizon feel a $500 smartphone from Google will be lapped up by the market thanks to the brand equity Google enjoys, this may succeed after all.