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Report: Google's Pixel is off to a roaring start on Verizon

Google’s Pixel is apparently a hit over at Verizon. According to a report from Fiercewireless, Google’s first smartphone accounts for 7.5 percent of new activations during the last month.

That’s a high number for a premium priced, first-time phone that isn’t from Apple or Samsung. It indicates that the $15 million Google spent on advertising and $12 million from Verizon during a campaign from Oct. 27 to Nov. 2 is paying off. Google’s ad campaign has played up the Pixel’s photo prowess, while Verizon has regularly run an ad where a group on a train uses the Google Assistant (which has awakened my phone and Google Home more than once).

However, the effort to lure Pixel owners over to T-Mobile may not be going so hot. Activations at non-Verizon carriers remains between zero and two percent, according to the report. Buying a Pixel from the Google Store unlocked may still be just the domain of enthusiasts who traditionally would have bought a Nexus smartphone.

Until Google is able to expand the in-store sales and promotions to other carriers, the bulk of Pixel sales are likely to be with Verizon. And Pixel sales are likely to be limited overall, as most customers buy a phone from their wireless carrier.

Why this matters: The Pixel is Google’s first phone, and the company is clearly willing to spend some advertising dollars to promote it. It’s a key piece of an overall hardware strategy to more deeply embed Google services in one’s life, as the Pixel is the first phone with the Google Assistant and to support Daydream VR. No doubt it will end up under some Christmas trees during this year’s holiday season.

IDG Insider

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