Google persists in the smartphone market

This could just as well fall. Scheduled on Tuesday, October 9, the announcement by Google of its latest products was preceded by the revelation, the day before, a massive security breach in its Google + social network, which affected the data of at least 500 000 users. The scandal could have disrupted the agenda, but of that, there was no question during the presentation made from New York. Google expected no doubt that one new hunt the other.

In terms of communication, the blow is tough for the firm in Mountain View (California), which strives to establish credibility as a manufacturer of technological devices. This year again, a whole range of new products that the company has unveiled: phones, connected speakers, tablets.

The most anticipated announcements focused on the Pixel range of phones, which are now in their third generation. The presentation especially highlighted the new features created around the camera, such as the one that does not miss the perfect shot: when capturing an unusual scene, the camera starts taking pictures even before you have pressed the button

For the French public, the main announcement is the availability, for the first time, Pixel phones on the territory hexagonal. Offered in two sizes (5.5 and 6.3 inches), these devices will be available on November 2 from respectively 859 and 959 euros. Sign that Google is more aggressive to conquer market share in this sector. Until now, his phones were only available in nine countries; they are now in three more.

“Today, the challenge is marketing, distribution,” notes Thomas Husson of Forrester. While in the United States, the brand has relied on an exclusivity from Verizon, the choice has been made in France of a wider distribution. The Pixel will be present at Orange, Bouygues Telecom and SFR, as well as in the banners of Fnac, Darty, and Boulanger

Very disappointing sales

Google’s appetite for the smartphone market is not new. With the series of Nexus first, as early as 2010, developed with various manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Huawei), then with the Pixel range, since 2016. The purchase of Motorola, in 2011, for 12.5 billions of dollars (about 11 billion euros at the current price), resold for barely 3 billion less than three years later, and very disappointing sales of its phones (barely 3.9 million units issued in 2017), could have discouraged the Mountain View company from persisting in this way.

But, under the leadership of Sundar Pichai, who came to Google in 2015, the hardware division was reorganized, with the arrival of Rick Osterloh. Objective: to better cooperate the software and hardware divisions. The check made in September 2017 to HTC to be able to hand over 2,000 of its engineers has since confirmed the willingness of the company to accelerate the development of its products.

Above all, Mr. Pichai has placed artificial intelligence at the heart of the development of every product offered by Google. With the emergence of virtual assistants such as those of Amazon (Alexa), the use of Google services has become less essential than before to its users: a simple voice call, the owner of an enclosure Amazon Echo can order a book without searching on Google. And the owner of an iPhone will be able to ask his way to his phone thanks to Siri without going through the mapping service of his competitor. Queries that will escape Google, while all its economy is driven by the knowledge of its users to advertising purposes.

It is up to Google to demonstrate that its assistant is more efficient than its competitors, and on all media (phones, speakers, etc.). Even the camera of the last pixel is like a search engine, able to recognize this pair of glasses that you would be fixing. Basically, even turning increasingly to the hardware, Google does not change job.

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