Google’s Pixel smartphone this year was a significant reset for the company’s mobile hardware strategy – and one that earned a lot of praise from customers and critics. Good news for those who liked it: Pixel’s successor will arrive sometime in 2017, as confirmed by Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh to Android Pit at MWC this year.
It sounds like the Pixel 2 will continue the tradition of the original – Osterloh said it’ll remain “premium” in its next iteration, and he added that the company isn’t interested in offering a low-cost version, preferring instead to let that segment be addressed by its external hardware partners.
While it was to be expected that Google would put out a smartphone this year, since the annual release cycle for hardware is hardly new, Osterloh’s confirmation tells us a few things about the company’s strategy that weren’t previously totally pinned down. First, we know Google’s staying the course with the new strategy it set out with Pixel, whereby it aims to compete more directly with the iPhone. Second, we know it’s not going to split its focus by simultaneously going after mid- and low-market opportunities at the same time.
This bodes well for Google’s smartphone strategy. The first Pixel is still the best Android smartphone available, in my opinion, and it’s good to see Google continuing along that path.