The Pixel, Phone by Google is here, it’s great and it’s relatively expensive. Part of the justification provided for the premium price –apart from it being a superb phone — was that the Pixel signifies more than just a premium phone for Google, it is the beginning of an entire Hardware strategy. Essential elements of that strategy included high-end hardware, interest-free financing (USA only) and easy access to after sales support and repairs.
This announcement gives Google access to approximately 250 walk-in stores across 187 cities in the USA, effectively giving Google their first ever approved same-day repairs. In the unfortunate event of a Pixel owner needing to replace a cracked screen, a battery, a USB port or even a camera module they will be able to walk into their closest uBreakiFix store and get same day repairs.
In a briefing following the MadeByGoogle event, Google made it clear that their strategy with the Pixel extended well beyond the devices itself. This partnership is an example of this strategy, this shows that Google has ensured that there is a logistics infrastructure across the USA to provide replacements parts and support. Technicians from uBreakiFix have most likely undergone specific training and been given the opportunity to ‘hone’ their Pixel repairing skills.
Whilst a partner network may be a few steps short of a ‘gold standard’ first party approach, it is still leaps and bounds ahead of Google’s previous after-sale hardware network and further evidence that there is more to Google’s Hardware strategy than a phone named Pixel.
What about repairs in Australia? We have previously asked about the post-sales repair and warranty for Pixel devices sold in Australia.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that Australia will be getting Google approved same day repairs. According to our sources, warranty and repairs will be handled by your place of purchase. This doesn’t rule out a future partnership with an Australian repair provider but despite the extra cost of buying a Pixel in Australia compared to the USA market we’re not likely to see Google financing or repairs anytime soon.
This is Google’s first product out of the gate from their new hardware division so we’re willing to watch how the devices perform and how Google’s hardware strategy continues to evolve over the new few years. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.