Industry-wide "pressures in the premium smartphone market" led to a drop in Pixel sales in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same time last year, a top official of Google parent company Alphabet has said. With Google finding it hard to compete in the premium segment, the company could offer new products in the mid-range market. Google is expected to show off its cheaper Pixel 3a and 3a XL on the first day of its I/O developer conference next month, The Verge reported on Monday.
On an earnings call with reporters, Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet, cited "some of the recent pressures in the premium smartphone market" for the trouble in selling expensive Pixel phones.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the smartphone industry is "working through a phase where there is definite year-on-year headwinds."
"But I do think, especially, the ecosystem is constantly pushing it forward. I continue to be excited about the innovation speed, 5G coming or the early look into foldable phones, which I am really pleased is a big part in driving," Pichai said.
"So I do think there is a lot more to come and we are focused on it," he added. In its quarterly earnings reports, Google does not break out revenue for its hardware-related products.
But despite the lacklustre phone sales, the Google hardware segment grew, hitting nearly $5.5 billion in revenue this past quarter, The Verge reported.
The growth could be due to robust sales of Chromecast devices, laptops, Google Home speakers, and Nest products, among other devices.