Market share continues to decline. Can new chips revive Google’s smartphone business?


Tencent technology news on August 12, Google’s Android operating system has almost occupied the world, firmly occupying the top position of the world’s most popular smartphone operating system. What about Google’s pixel smartphone? It doesn’t seem very successful. In the past five years, pixel has never become a leading smartphone brand. According to counter point research, a Market Research Institute, in the first half of 2021, Google’s smartphone market share decreased by 7% over the same period last year.
But now, a new pixel is coming out, which will be equipped with a chip independently developed by Google. The chip, called Google tensor, is seen as a major development beyond Google’s search and advertising services. Chief executive Sundar Pichai called it the company’s “biggest innovation in the pixel field so far”.
Google will join apple and Samsung Electronics to launch its own chips. So far, the company said that the chip is suitable for processing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and will accelerate tasks such as speech and image recognition and data and image processing. These are areas where Google is good at. More importantly, these services will provide more data for it. Google makes money from advertising, and the distribution and sales of advertising are based on the optimization of these data and intelligence.
Can the new chip revive Google pixel business? We have reason to doubt it. As technology reporter mark gurman recently pointed out: “Google does not share any specifications or performance indicators. It is hard to believe that the company can successfully compete with apple or Qualcomm with its first generation chips.” This chip can avoid people’s concerns about Google’s hardware business, but the effect may be short-term. “If pixel finally turns a profit, it may be too late,” gulman wrote
In addition, there are scale challenges. Through mass production, enterprises can better deal with extremely difficult processes such as chip design. First attempts at complex processors rarely achieve their goals. In theory, Google’s powerful software can be enhanced by new chips, but the company’s engineers must design the hardware completely correctly.
Despite these obstacles, Google’s strength in chip engineering has been demonstrated on its cloud tensor processing unit. The cloud tensor processing unit is used to accelerate the workload of machine learning. The company has spent four years on the research and development of mobile tensor. Even if it is not as large as apple or Samsung, it can reliably find the use of these semiconductors in a wider portfolio of electronic products. It is reported that the sales of chromebook is not bad.
Pixel series mobile phones were first released in 2016 and have long been the favorite of camera enthusiasts. Their groundbreaking features include AI assisted “night vision”, which has been emulated by apple and all other companies in a few years.
The positive impact of tensor deserves to be taken seriously. Instead of taking existing parts off the shelf like other companies, Google can customize its own silicon chips. Huawei has done similar things and become a strong enemy of apple and Samsung. This bet has brought huge returns to Huawei, helping it become the world’s largest smartphone supplier.
For Google, just getting more than 1% market share with pixel is just the beginning. Due to various reasons such as price, distribution and poor design choices, coupled with poor engineering design, this phone is not very popular. But for Google, what matters is more data, and it is happy to create convincing and interesting devices to access this data.
But anyway, for now, even if the new pixel can’t occupy the world, we look forward to taking pictures at night´╝ł Tencent Technology (reviser / Jinlu)