Google’s two Pixel product announcements have occurred a few weeks after Apple’s September iPhone event, and this is – perhaps – no coincidence; not only does it give Google an idea of what it’s up against before releasing, but we’ve found something else.
One interesting relationship in Australia has between the correlation between the release price of a new iPhone and the release prices for Google’s Pixel phones. In fact, in 2016, the original Pixel and Pixel XL were priced exactly the same, dollar for dollar across the lines.
Apple announced its latest phones this week, with prices ranging from $1229 AUD up to an astounding $2369 AUD. Yes, that’s not a typo, the latest top-shelf iPhone costs more than a 65-inch 4K HDR Smart TV. However, it also gives us a fairly competent insight into the price Pixel 3 buyers could be facing this year.
Let’s take a quick look back over the past 2 years of Pixel vs iPhone RRPs in Australia.
In 2016 the Pixel launched and as many of you may remember that the pricing was identical to the “similar models” of the iPhone 7s released just a few weeks earlier:
|Pixel XL||iPhone 7s Plus|
Last year the Pixel 2 range was launched just after the iPhone 8/ X range with the pricing rising for the XL range and the 5-inch model holding its price inline with 2016’s pricing. It’s important to note that the iPhone 8 had a higher capacity model which pushed down the pricing of other models v.v. the Pixel 2 XL:
|Pixel 2||iPhone 8|
|128/ 256 GB||$1,229||$1,329|
|Pixel 2 XL||iPhone 8 Plus|
|128/ 256 GB||$1,549||$1,479|
Coming into 2018 the landscape has changed a little with Apple having a different device line up consisting of one basic (XR) and two premium devices (XS and XS Max). Looking at the past few years we think it’s likely that the Pixel 3 could be indexed to the XR Max pricing.
Let’s make one thing clear, you could call this data-based predictions, you could also call this blatant guessing, we’d like to think it’s the former but it is, in the end, a prediction based on only 2 years of not completely linear trends.
That being said the cost differential between last year and this year in the iPhone range feels like too much of a jump in price for Google without any real hardware reasons currently known to justify as large an increase. As such we think the Pixel 3 will be priced between the $1079 of the past 2 years and the $1229 of the XR.
|Pixel 3||iPhone XR|
|128/ 256 GB||$1,279||$1,299|
The Pixel 3 XL is more difficult to price, with the XS having such a significant jump in price and as part of Apples clear experiment in finding out just how much people will pay for phones. The pricing of those models feel even less indicative, they do however provide a ceiling we just don’t think Google would cross.
|Pixel 3 XL||iPhone XS|
|128/ 256 GB||$1,629||$1,879|
Overall we think that potential Pixel proponents down under should brace themselves for a continuation of the $1100 and up RRP Google started this whole Pixel experiment with. Hopefully, however, Google won’t match Apple’s excessive pricing strategy.
I for one am not a proponent for the continual increase in device pricing, while I would consider a notchless 5.3″ 64 GB, Qi Charging Pixel 3, I would never consider a device that costs anywhere near $1500, unfortunately, between hardware repayment plans with carriers and peoples fetishisation of phones, I stand nearly alone in that viewpoint, or at least it feels that way.
For those who feel similarly to me at least, we have the Android One program, mainly stewarded by Nokia in Australia, who provide great hardware, with guaranteed updates at reasonable prices. Which ever way all this goes we dont have that long to wait now.