Google is now a hardware company: the company that started as a search engine introduced the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, its own two phones, a couple of days ago, and positioned them as flagship devices that are set to compete with handsets like the Apple iPhone.
However, one thing that has held Google back all throughout the years with the Nexus series is limited retail presence that have stumbled its sales ambitions. And quite frankly, the Google Nexus program never seemed to produce a phone for the masses, a phone that is sold widely, but rather than that, it served as a reference for other Android manufacturers to look and adopt good practices.
Is Google ready for a full-on switch in tactics and going on the offense in hardware? The Google Pixel phone will be sold at brick and mortar retailers in the United States and it launches in six countries, so this brings the question how much units of the Pixel will be sold.
DigiTimes researchers estimate that Google Pixel unit shipments will reach between 3 and 4 million by the end of 2016, and that's quite a healthy number, if it indeed comes true (and that depends on demand). So how does it compare against the bigs? Samsung is shipping tens of millions of its Galaxy S series per quarter, while the Apple iPhone is even bigger with sales of between 40 million and up to nearly 60 million units a quarter, as of recently.
So no, the Google Pixel is definitely not initially expected to reach the same level of popularity as the two most prominent flagship devices out there, but let's not forget that these phones took years of development to reach those high numbers.