google pixel and pixel xl first look hands on aa-42

Google certainly has high expectations for its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. With top of the range hardware and a price tag to match, Google is squarely taking aim at high-end manufacturers Apple and Samsung with its latest smartphones.

According to DigiTimes Research, Google can expect to sell somewhere between 3 and 4 million Pixel smartphones before the end of 2016. While certainly not bad, this will still leave Google a long way behind Samsung and Apple. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge sold an estimated 25.1 million units in the first half of 2016, while the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which sold 13 million units over their opening weekend, according to GfK.

Historically, the limited availability and lack of advertising for Google’s Nexus line has kept the range out of the spotlight and away from scrutiny over shipment figures. Now that Google looks to be competing more directly with Android manufacturers and Apple, we can expect more attention to be paid to how Google is performing in the smartphone market. The Google name should offer the company a jump-start, but market data shows that this is now a tough time to secure a strong market share as a smaller handset brand.

While Google has a long way to go to complete with the top players, these sales will also provide a notable boost to struggling smartphone manufacturer HTC, which has designed and built the hardware for the two new Google Pixel smartphones. The research predicts that Pixel shipments could account for 40 to 50 percent of HTC’s handset shipments in the second half of the year, providing a much needed revenue boost for the Taiwanese manufacturer.

HTC saw its year-on-year revenue fall in the previous quarter, despite the launch of its revamped HTC 10 flagship. In total, HTC is expected to ship between 6.5 and 6.7 million phones in the second half of the year, up less than 10 percent from the 5.8 – 6.1 million phones shipped in the first half of the year. As we would expect, the Pixel will provide a notable boost to HTC’s second half of the year, perhaps more doubling the number of handsets the company would have sold otherwise.