Plans Afoot for Google Pixel 3 as ODMs Bid to Win Order, LG in the Lead

Google Pixel 3 to be made by LG?

It is widely known that Google has no intention of stopping with the Google Pixel line of smartphones. The company has already confirmed its plans for the second lineup of Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL smartphones, along with a possible third, larger phone currently going under the codename Taimen. But a recent report from Commercial Times (Chinese language site) via Digitimes shows that Google Pixel 3 might be made by LG rather than HTC, which makes and ships the Google Pixel family and also has its marching orders in hand for Google Pixel 2 this year.

According to the report, LG, TCL and Coolpad are competing with HTC to manufacture the Google Pixel 3 line of smartphones to be launched in 2018. HTC reportedly shipped 2.1 million units of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL since the 2016 launch, and the Pixel 3 range is expected to ship about 5 million units, says the report.

The report also says that LG is currently the lead contender for the Pixel 3 order, but it’s unclear whether they will be given exclusive manufacturing rights by Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

A lot is riding on the sales performance of Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2 range of smartphones over the next 18 months or so.

Google Pixel Sales Performance

2.1 million units in the first six months of launch is impressive for a first-timer like the Pixel, but put that next to the original iPhone’s sales of 3.7 million in the first 200 days since its launch, and it gets you thinking.

The iPhone was a revolutionary device competing with the then-leader, RIM’s Blackberry. Pixel is a great phone, but it’s not revolutionary in that respect. Besides, it had to compete with Apple and Samsung combined. From that viewpoint, 2.1 million units suddenly starts to look a lot more impressive.

Google Pixel still shows strong demand, something that the company and HTC continue to struggle to meet. But if they can solve that problem in time, when Pixel 2 comes out, it could steal significant market share from Apple and Samsung.

It’s early days yet for Alphabet’s smartphone ambitions, but all clues point to a very successful future – and big trouble for other premium smartphone makers. With the overall smartphone market showing a clear growth slowdown, the potential to sell a premium device is becoming more limited by the day.

If Google can keep producing the kind of quality seen on the Pixel, there will soon be very little space for Microsoft to edge in with Surface Phone. Continuum and Surface Phone’s ability to emulate desktop applications seem to be the only possible saving grace, but it will be a tough fight against three smartphone majors, not to mention the powerfully emergent Huawei waiting in the wings for an opportunity to grab market share.

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