Google seems to be learning from how Chinese smartphone companies manage news about its products. Last night, the search giant which lords over the smartphone Android ecosystem but struggles to sells its own phones gave a sneak peek into its next flagship, the Pixel 4, on Twitter. The MountainView company had released an image of Pixel 4 in June itself though the phone isn’t expected before October. It is usual for other smartphone companies to tease their phones, not so much Google.
So the Google tweet was unexpected. The picture showed the Pixel 4 with dual cameras in a square-shape design and the company’s G logo on the bottom. It’s not the traditional way to offer a sneak preview of a new product that’s months away from release. We don’t know whether this is a smart move or not, but Google has ensured that everyone knows what its Pixel team is up to these days.
So why did Google do this uncharacteristic stunt?
Pixel 4 early reveal is a PR move
The Pixel 4 is Google’s marque device and it requires a certain push so that people keep talking about the device until it launches in October. That’s what Google managed to achieve by releasing the photo of the Pixel 4 on Twitter months ahead of the launch. Google has been weak when it comes to marketing its hardware devices and that has affected the commercial aspects of its previous phones. Not only does this strategy give Google more freedom to control leaks, but also allows it to gauge the interest of Pixel 4 among true fans. Of course, there is more to the story and that leaves plenty for Google to share more about the phone at the launch event.
Google’s Pixel 4 made Apple a follower
Just a day back, it was suggested that the Pixel 4 might adopt the iPhone 11’s design, featuring the same square-shape module that houses multi-cameras. Now Google’s one move made Apple a copycat in a matter of a few hours. Assuming Apple launches the iPhone 11 in September, Google may use this opportunity to counter Apple that it copied its design from the beginning. It’s a smart move by Google to release the picture of Pixel 4 that fully reveals a large, square-shape camera module. We are sure this would have little impact on Apple. Google may have got a boost to raise its profile as a design champion.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 12, 2019
Fears of losing out to the competition
Google hasn’t had success with its past few Pixel-branded smartphones. The company itself admitted that it had trouble selling the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL to customers. From outdated designs to lack of channel partners, there are multiple reasons why its “Made by Google” smartphones haven’t done well despite being backed by the Silicon major. But that might change with the Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 images suggest the company wants to compete with Apple in the premium smartphone segment. The idea is clearly to build the hype around the device leading to the launch.