Pixel 6: Is Google staging artificial demand, or was it caught napping, unprepared to sell phones?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Pixel 6: Is Google staging artificial demand, or was it caught napping, unprepared to sell phones?
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Let's talk about the hottest phones at the moment! The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have been available for pre-order since October 20, but not everyone seems to be able to lay hands on Google's flashy new devices.

It's fair to say Google has managed to create a certain amount of mysterious aura surrounding the Pixel 6 because:

  1. The company demands a dual embargo for Pixel 6 hands-on and Pixel 6 reviews (stay tuned for the latter). This means the media wasn't able to share anything other than the design and home screen of the Pixel 6 until yesterday.
  2. The spotty availability only adds to the "exclusivity factor"

We'll discuss whether this is intentional or just a side effect of Google's struggles with sales, but before we do that, let me give you what you want - the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro! Perhaps literally.

You may also want to read:

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro availability - are they really out of stock?

Even though the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are indeed out of stock in quite a few markets, this doesn't mean they are out of stock… period.

  • For starters, if you're in the US, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are currently available to purchase directly from the Google store or through your carrier - no drama there.
  • If you are in the UK, as of now, the Pixel 6 is available only in Stormy Black. If you want the Pixel 6 Pro, you currently have to join a waiting list, which means when the phone is back in stock at Google's store, they'll email you.
  • Availability in Europe will be country-dependent. Let's talk Germany. Currently, the Pixel 6 is (again) available only in Stormy Black - arguably the most boring option. Then, the Pixel 6 Pro isn't available at all, just like in the UK. You're prompted to join the waiting list.

If you want to check availability for your country, simply head to Google's store, and scroll to the very bottom, where you'd be able to pick a region.

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Pixel 6 and 6 Pro - how to jump the waiting list and buy one right now... Also, Bose

But, as promised, in case you still can't find the Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, and your Google searches gave no result, I'm now going to tell you how to get your hands on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro - particularly in Europe and the UK, even if they seem to be out of stock.

  1. Locate the Bose 700 pre-order offer, which is visible at the very top of Google's website. For the record, this one is still available until October 27, so you might want to hurry up if you want to take advantage of it!
  2. Click on the "Terms and conditions" button next to the offer, which will take you to the special Pixel offers page.
  3. From there, you can choose from a few regions where the offer is available - the UK, Ireland, France, or Germany. Click on your region.
  4. Now click on "Terms" located in the top menu or the equivalent word in your language.
  5. Now you can see all the retailers that sell the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro and offer the Bose 700 with it.

The goal is to find a retailer that has the phone in stock and offers the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro in your preferred color. You just need to do some browsing. The great news is that finding your Pixel is much easier than you might have expected!

There are almost 30 retailers that sell the Pixel 6 in Germany, and about half as much for the UK! I've had luck with Vodafone Germany. When Google had almost no availability, Vodafone had all models in all colors to choose from!

Pixel 6: Are iPhone users switching, and is this the best smartphone deal… ever?

Now, onto the spicy chat!

If you're active on Twitter and follow specific "tech people", you'll know about the hype that's been surrounding Google's Pixel 6 since day one. Namely, since that very first Pixel 6 leak by Jon Prosser, which turned out to be pretty spot on.

Even I, myself, bought into the dream of "the perfect Pixel", and now that the phone is out, I can finally put my mind to rest and tell myself and you - it's just a phone! Again, our review is on the way, and it will tell you more about it. Spoiler: It's good. It probably won't change your life. Just like a Galaxy or an iPhone won't either.

Despite that, I see several tweets and YouTube videos circling around that will tell you how friends and family members are reaching out to their nearest nerd, to ask, "what's with that Google phone?!" and even looking to switch from iPhone to Pixel 6, because the former is now "boring".

Let me weigh in on this and assure you it might be 100%... true

At least in my case.

A family member's been using an Honor 9 for ages now. Initially, he was looking to upgrade to Samsung's Galaxy S21 for the smaller form factor, but Samsung's flagship was slightly over the budget, especially a few months back.

So, when I saw the Pixel 6 price (which everyone initially thought would be way higher), it was obvious! Long story short, we've already pre-ordered the Pixel 6 for my cousin, which will also get him a pair of Bose 700s, retailing for 279 EUR.

The Pixel 6 goes for 649 EUR, so if you factor in the Bose headphones, you get the phone for… ready? 370 EUR! Keep the headphones or sell them!

Does anyone care about the Google Pixel 6?

The Europe case

But other than me convincing my very gullible 15-year-old cousin to buy Google's new phone, I haven't come across "the Pixel rush" here in Germany, Europe. I might actually be Google's sole hypeman in the city...

Do you know how Google's brand new "top stuff" flagship is showcased in Germany's top retail stores? It's simply tossed between a bunch of other Android phones, which you might or might not be able to name. I don't even recall seeing a label that says it's "new".

iPhones and Samsungs? They get their own "private islands" - like expensive trinkets for those who want "the premium stuff". iPhones even have special brackets to prevent you from... stealing one? Which also happens to make it impossible to actually handle it. The Pixel is up for grabs. Just bring a pair of scissors to cut the loose cord that's holding it put.

So, it appears as if Google isn't putting great effort when it comes to marketing and advertising, at least across the pond (if you're reading from the US). Or if I may say, to make the phone "feel boujee", or "posh" for our UK friends.

The United States case

However, I believe Sundar Pichai and company are trying harder when it comes to their favorite markets, the US, and for some reason… Japan. Even if we look at promos, we'll see some special Japanese sponsored content that's been circling around the internet, as well as, of course, US-focused marketing.

Also, we've all seen the billboards and what almost looked like murals for the new Pixel in big US cities. Then, the Twitter hype is in place; the YouTube space is buzzing with Pixel content, and western media is ready to cover Google's first serious attempt at a flagship phone. It's a celebration!

Ultimately: The Pixel 6 needs… sales

However! Companies as big as Google and Apple celebrate one thing... sales. Make it rain!

To wrap up with the very first question from the title - is the demand artificial? No, I don't think so. But does it look exaggerated due to Google's lack of preparedness to meet the "insanely high demand", and unwillingness to refer shoppers to other retailers, which might be able to sell them the phone? I think you know the answer.

Either way, Google's never managed to go past 0.5% of market share, ever since the very first Pixel launched in 2016. Furthermore, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will be available only in a handful of countries. Of course, Google...

Regardless, I'm thrilled to see the first sales figures, which will show whether Google's extra marketing efforts and the magic of the internet have done their job to help the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro do what Google wants them to do - get into your pocket.

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