Pixel 3/3 XL Smartphone – More About Software Than Hardware

Google launched its all new Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL smartphones today. The previous two Pixel models were not able to capture significant market share (<1%) globally, but it grabbed a lot of attention from the market. Previous Pixel models were known for their camera quality and the software prowess of Google’s apps and services including, Google Lens, Google Assistant, unlimited cloud storage etc.

  • Pixel sales were driven by the US – a market that contributed to a third of the total global smartphone segment above 600 USD price points in Q2 2018, and almost two-thirds of Pixel sales in 2Q18.

  • In an operator-driven market like the US, Google only partnered with Verizon, while the devices are also available with Project Fi and in open channels. Pixel sales in US can be higher if it were made available through more carrier channels.
  • For Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL, we expect sales to be stronger than the predecessor models, as they will be launched in four new markets this year.
  • Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL is expected to have higher camera performance with an improved visual core SoC. Google is unusual in eschewing the dual or even triple main camera modules, now almost universal in premium Android smartphones. It is instead opting for a single camera setup with advanced, AI-mediated graphical processing.
  • Even though the higher internal memory configuration is missing from the Pixel line-up, the unlimited cloud storage option will more than compensate. We have also seen consumers opting for lower ROM, and therefore cheaper, iPhone models and then relying on cloud storage.
  • With Apple pushing iPhone ASPs higher for the new iPhone XS series, consumers will be looking for more choices in the premium segment. Android OEMs, including Google, have more pricing headroom at the high-end; we are already seeing Chinese players introducing flagship models and positioning them at higher price points than previous flagship models. But despite the price increases, Android flagships are significantly cheaper than the comparable iPhone models.
  • Pixel 3 is priced higher than its predecessor model. But at 799 USD with 6-month YouTube Premium and unlimited cloud storage, it is better value than the Apple iPhone XS that starts at 999 USD. This could further translate into higher sales for the Pixel devices – though we don’t see huge migration from iOS to Android among consumers.
  • Project Fi is offering a 799 USD service credit when buying two Pixel 3 at 799 USD each. Considering its 20 USD plan and 2GB of data usage per month, the service will effectively be free for almost a year for both devices.
  • Google has restructured its trade-in program. Project Fi is providing a trade-in value of 335 USD for a Pixel 2 XL 128 GB, while the highest trade-in value is 550 USD for a Verizon iPhone X 256GB.
  • The trade-in deals might help Google move more volumes at launch in US. However, overall the deals are not as good as last year, especially for older Pixel devices.

The new Pixel 3/Pixel 3 XL, with the weight of Google’s software and services behind it, will emphasize its AI camera, Google Assistant, quick software updates, free cloud storage, pure Android experience and a host of other services that come along with the excellent hardware. Sales of the Pixel 3/3 XL are expected to be higher than the predecessor model due to broader availability and competitive pricing. But availability of stock during the holiday season will be crucial. Further, it seems the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will not be phased out. And with a 99 USD price cut and many of the same software updates that will grace the Pixel 3/3 XL it makes a good case for itself. The Pixel 2/2 XL may help Google sell more devices and increase its smartphone user base, hoping they will upgrade to newer Pixel devices in future.

Counterpoint research is a young and fast growing research firm covering analysis of the tech industry. Coverage areas are connected devices, digital consumer goods, software & applications and other adjacent topics. We provide syndicated research reports as well as tailored. Our seminars and workshops for companies and institutions are popular and available on demand. Consulting and customized work on the above topics is provided for high precision projects.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.