It may not have knocked Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL ) iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S series from the top of the flagship smartphone feeding chain, but Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL ) Google keeps trying. A new leak has the Google Pixel 3 set to launch in October and suggests that the company will join the growing number of iPhone X copycats adopting the display notch:
According to my sources:
Pixel 3 ≃ 5.3-inch (no notch)
Pixel 3XL ≃ 6.2-inch (notch)
— Steve H. (@OnLeaks) June 4, 2018
The original Pixel phone and its followup Pixel 2 weren’t enough to move the scale for Google stock investors — the entire year’s sales for 2017 amounted to roughly the number of iPhones Apple moves in just a week — but the third time could be the charm.
Bloomberg: Pixel 3 Set for October Launch
There have been strong hints that Google’s Pixel phones would adopt a similar user-facing camera system to Apple’s iPhone X. As much as the iPhone TrueDepth camera display notch has been derided, it has also been rapidly copied by Android phone manufacturers. In Android P, Google added official support for display notches. And at Google I/O in May, the company showed off new gesture controls for Android, similar to those used by the iPhone X.
Bloomberg is reporting that the Google Pixel 3 will be launching in October. And according to Bloomberg’s sources, we can expect to see a nearly bezel-free display with a notch — just like the iPhone X. At least for the Pixel 3 XL (sounds like the smaller version remains notch-free). No dual camera system, though, as those sources say Google is sticking with its single-camera main shooter.
Considering how well Google’s AI-assisted camera has done in testing against dual camera systems like that on the iPhone X, that makes sense.
While Google farmed off the production end of its previous Pixel phones to HTC and LG, this time the company may be controlling the entire process, from design to build. Bloomberg says GOOGL is talking to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd (OTCMKTS:HNHPF) — better known as Foxconn — the company that is Apple’s primary iPhone manufacturer.
No word on pricing, although it seems unlikely that Google will boost the Pixel 3 XL to iPhone X levels. The company is trying to build market share and escape niche status. An extra $150 per device (the Pixel 2 XL starts at $849 compared to $999 for the iPhone X) is not going to do anything for GOOGL’s bottom line. On the other hand, increased Pixel sales have an upside for GOOGL stock.
It appears that once again, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ ) will be the exclusive carrier for the new Google Pixel phones.
With Google revenue and GOOGL stock so reliant on ad revenue, and last year’s billion-dollar acquisition of HTC’s Pixel smartphone engineering team, there was never really any question of whether the company would continue on the Pixel phone path. The question will be whether the Pixel 3 can push Google from niche status to mainstream in the flagship smartphone market. At least it won’t have the Essential Phone tempting potential buyers…
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.