Pixel 6 leak reveals Google’s premium smartphone strategy

The news: UK retailer Carphone Warehouse spilled the beans on Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones scheduled to be unveiled on October 19, per CNET.

  • Images, pricing, and specs of the upcoming phones were revealed on the retailer’s website before they were taken down. 

How we got here: The anticipated handsets are Google’s latest attempt to capture parity with the iPhone and premium Samsung phones.

  • The Pixel 6 starts at $749 while Apple’s iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 starts at $799.
  • The Pixel 6 Pro starts at $1,049 while Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G starts at $1199.
  • The new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro feature a new Google Tensor processor capable of powerful on-device machine learning, ostensibly for improved photo and video performance.

The opportunity: After years of releasing midrange handsets, Google is firmly aiming at the more premium segment of the market with its upcoming devices. Unique camera features and exclusive Android features could elevate Google as a premium smartphone maker. Google currently has 1.97% of the US smartphone market

  • Premium smartphone demand continues to be strong—shipments of devices priced $1,000 and above grew 116% YoY compared with Q2 2020 per IDC.
  • Google positioned their Pixel phones in the same premium segment as Apple’s iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models—which could attract consumers looking to switch platforms.