Don’t sleep on the Google Pixel — the iPhone may get dethroned

Two years ago, when I switched to the iPhone after a series of underwhelming experiences with Google Pixel phones, I didn’t think I’d be tempted to return any time soon. At the time, the state of Google hardware was in such disarray, I was almost certain that a shutdown was inevitable. 

Fast forward to today, however, and Google breathed new life into its Pixel ecosystem. After weeks of using the new Pixel 7, I’m having second thoughts about my less-than-optimistic perception of Google’s future trajectory. Is the search-engine giant finally becoming the formidable Apple opponent it initially set out to be?

Google’s Pixel as a response to Apple’s iPhone success and uncertainty in Samsung

When Google first introduced the Pixel, a premium flagship from the same company that makes the underlying Android OS, its intentions were obvious. Apple gained an unprecedented edge with the iPhone by developing both the software and hardware under its own roof. While Android has held a global market share lead over iOS since mid-2012, the iPhone reigns supreme in the U.S and Android’s success has always hinged on Samsung and others. With the threat that Android OEMs, particularly Samsung, could create competing operating systems, this was all a recipe for Google to feel vulnerable despite Android’s market dominance.

iPhone 5, 2012 (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google couldn’t afford to let Apple establish a dominant market share worldwide as Google depends on the revenue generated from search on Android and iOS. Apple could capitalize on that monopoly to dictate terms of any deals and ultimately build its own advertising and search platforms, biting into Google’s returns. And without its own hardware, Google would have no choice but to play by Apple’s rules. 

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