Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has officially finalized their purchase of HTC. Technically, Alphabet only bought most of HTC’s mobile division, as well as around 2,000 engineers that have helped Google create three or four handsets released under the Pixel brand. HTC will continue to make smartphones of its own, putting them in direct competition with Google. What’s the purpose of this acquisition? To make the Pixel more like the iPhone. But why do we need another iPhone, you might wonder? We don’t, but Google (and other smartphone companies) are scared of what the iPhone could do – and does do – to their sales.
Should they be? That’s subjective. From a statistical standpoint, Android still continues to dominate Apple in terms of smartphone sales. But Apple seems to be the holy grail in terms of what people want. According to sales of the phones from 2016, Apple only accounted for 12% of the market share, whereas Android devices dominated at 87%. These statistics are global, so we have to take that into consideration. But, overall Android seems to win. (These numbers may be slightly different now, however, the gap may have closed marginally in favor of iOS.) I should also point out that people who live in the United States, Australia, and Canada are more likely to buy Apple smartphones, over Android. The rest of the world, however, are using Android.
That said, iOS devices are still incredibly popular. Why? It likely has a lot to do with design and the availability of apps for the device. The Plus versions of the phone are likely also increasing sales. Why am I droning on about Apple right now? Well, there seems to be a push for Android devices to operate more like Apple devices. This is a good move for Google though.
The obvious advantage the Pixel phones have over any other Android device is that they’re always running Google’s latest Android version. And Google is in control of releasing the updates. That’s what Apple has been doing with the iPhone since its first model.Down the road, the Pixel will be more like the iPhone when it comes to one critical phone feature. Google plans to build its own smartphone chips, just like Apple does. Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh confirmed this during an interview with Bloomberg. The former Motorola exec brought in HTC engineers to help Google go after Apple in the premium smartphone business. The Pixels won’t be affordable phones like the Nexus models that preceded them, as Google seems committed to manufacturing only high-end devices.
You know that I love my Apple devices. But you also know that I love competition. Which makes me torn when it comes to this announcement. Well, not really torn. Usually, my love for competition outweighs my allegiance to one device manufacturer. We know that Google makes a lot of great products, so beefing up their smartphone department only makes sense at this point. Osterloh teased that Google’s hardware division is also working on some bigger and better products in the next couple of years. I think this is great news for Google. Maybe not great news for Apple, but maybe this will make them step up their game?