Google Pixel and Pixel XL sales skyrocketed during Black Friday weekend
Available to buy since late October, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are two of this year's best high-end smartphones, and have the potential of becoming the most popular Google-branded handsets to date. According to mobile analytics company Localytics, during this Thanksgiving - Black Friday - Cyber Monday shopping period (November 24 - November 28), Pixel and Pixel XL activations in the US soared 112% compared to activations from all previous four weekends.
Verizon's appealing Black Friday Pixel deal must have helped sales, but perhaps not as much as you'd think. Reportedly, only 46% of the Pixel phones activated throughout the Black Friday weekend were Verizon models. The rest of 54% represents devices bought unlocked (starting at $649) either directly from Google, or from authorized retailers. As you probably already know, unlocked Pixel and Pixel XL handsets can be used on any US carrier.
Localytics also tracked activations of other mobile devices, finding that no other model experienced the growth that the Pixels did. For example, Samsung Galaxy S7 activations were up 36% during the Black Friday weekend, while iPhone 7 activations grew by 13%. This does not necessarily mean that more people bought Pixels instead of Galaxy phones or iPhones. We don't have exact sales numbers, but it's probably safe to assume that iPhones and Galaxy models sold better than Pixel phones overall.
A few days ago, analysts estimated that Google would sell about $2 billion worth of Pixel phones by the end of 2016 - around 2 million units in total. Next year, up to 6 million Pixel and Pixel XL units could be sold.
Unlike Nexus handsets, which were usually seen as niche devices, mainly catering to Android enthusiasts and geeks, the new Pixels seem to be Google's first smartphones made for the masses (even if they're pretty expensive).