From last ten years, Apple has dominated the premium smartphone market virtually unchallenged. While Samsung has been putting up a brave fight with its flagship Galaxy S line, there hasn’t been a true challenger to battle the iPhone on its own terms.
Replacing the now-retired Nexus line of smartphones, the Google Pixel is the first ever handset that has been designed and built from scratch by Google. As you’d expect from one of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies, it’s a seriously polished device.
Google’s Pixel own-branded phone has just hit one million units sold, according to Play Store figures, despite the device being on sale for more than eight months.
Although Google itself doesn’t release performance figures for its hardware device sales, Ars Technica has managed to uncover roughly how many Google Pixel devices are in use by tracking the Pixel Launcher, which is the only application installed by default on Google Pixel devices.
It discovered that between 1 million and 5 million devices running the launcher had been using the Google Play Store to download applications and using this as a rough estimate as how many of the devices are in operation, it said there are at least 1 million activated.
However, the site does explain that some people may have side-loaded the launcher and using stats from the most popular side-loading site, APKMirror, it found that 1.3 million people were using the Google Pixel device. However, it doesn’t think that provides accurate figures.
“There are some statistically insignificant root shenanigans you could pull to download the Pixel Launcher from the Play Store on a non-Pixel device, but there is no way the number of sold Pixels is higher than 1 million units at this point in time,” Ars Technica explained.
Google confirms end-of-life support date
Google has said its Pixel range of phones will receive their final software update in October 2018, after which there will no longer be any software versions guaranteed to reach the smartphones.
Google’s end-of-life support page, which details the roadmap for future software iterations and their supported devices, was recently updated to include the Pixel phones, which until now only included the Nexus range and Android One devices.
The page states that Pixel devices will receive security updates for at least three years from its release date on the Google Store, while Android software updates will run for two years. This means Google “can’t guarantee additional updates” to software beyond October 2018, or October 2019 for security revisions.
The page states: “Pixel phones get security updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer. After that, we can’t guarantee additional updates.”
By that time it is expected that the newer range of Pixel 2 phones will be on the market, which could potentially include a tablet model. These devices will likely see support through to 2020 and 2021.