So I’ve been thinking, is it possible that Google could actually do something spectacular here and landed in the ideal position in the smartphone race of 2016.
I think the Google Pixel is excellent. The more I use the Google Assistant the more I realise they have the best voice recognition ever seen or used. The battery continues to impress, fast charging and long life.
If the Google Pixel had launched in 2015 at the same time, the Galaxy S6 would be six months old, doing well – and the iPhone 6s just hitting the stores. The Pixel would be a contender, but we’re a rusted on bunch of Aussies who rarely look at more than two options – this is why Samsung and Apple continue their dominance.
Fast forward to 2016 and there’s a couple of big reasons why Google will sell more smartphones than ever before (Pixel is not Google’s first phone, they’ve had many years of “Nexus” devices made by LG, Huawei and others).
While we won’t fully know for some time after some quarterly results start coming out, and as much as Samsung would like to hope otherwise – you’ve got to admit the recent Note 7 dramas are going to have an impact on the perception of their brand.
Now for hard-core phone owners that won’t be an issue. But imagine if you will the 45 year old, their two year contract is up, they normally just walk into their telco, ask for a new deal – sign up on a new plan and get to choose a new phone. There’s no “sales” going on here, bugger all Australians even bother to look for an alternate carrier let alone plan or phone.
So they get the new iPhone if their last phone was an iPhone, and surprise surprise they get a Samsung if their last phone was a Samsung.
But will they ask the question “is that safe?”, will they wonder what else is out there. Possibly.
The Exclusive Telstra Deal
Take that one step further now and realise for a moment that for the first time in forever when you walk into a Telstra store the phones sitting pride of place on the front counter facing the shopping centre and entrance is not Apple or Samsung.
Telstra have gone all out on this, an exclusive carrier partnership they are wanting to push hard. So Google is going to be front of mind even if subliminally.
This, plus the fact that the Telstra staff probably are more aware now of the Google Pixel than any other phone in store other than iPhone and Samsung surely puts them into the “top 3” and from there all you need is that element of doubt, or the idea of something “new” that will push people to the Pixel.
Time will tell
What do you think? Are we about to see a shift in Aussie smartphone purchasing habits?
In the end, I reckon Google have lucked their way into a very good position in the Aussie mobile phone race.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.