Actual Pixel sales closer to 1.8M, according to BayStreet

Google Pixel smartphone for Verizon (Verizon)
Google's Pixel may be selling at significantly higher rates than measurements based on Pixel Launcher installations would indicate. (Google)

Data from Google’s Play Store indicates the internet behemoth may have sold as many as 1 million units of its Pixel smartphone. But the actual tally may be significantly higher.

Unlike most phone vendors, Google doesn’t disclose sales figures for its phone. But Ars Technica reported this week that installations of the app Pixel Launcher, which is exclusive to Google’s branded handset, recently surpassed the 1 million mark.

“So for this one moment in history, eight months after launch, we can say Google finally sold a million Pixel phones,” Ars Technica wrote.

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CNET picked up on the story, noting that Pixel sales are still likely just a fraction of those of higher-profile handsets. Apple sold more than 78 million iPhones in the final quarter of 2016, CNET reported, and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is estimated to have sold roughly 5 million units.

But fresh estimates from BayStreet Research indicated the Pixel may be selling at significantly higher rates than Pixel Launcher installations would illustrate. The market research firm pegged the total number of Pixels sold since its launch at nearly 1.8 million, with 475,000 likely to be sold in the second quarter of 2017.

While that figure may pale in comparison to some other high-end handsets, the Pixel appears to be a hit despite some significant challenges. The phone is sold in the United States exclusively through Verizon—although it can be used on other networks—and Google faced major inventory limitations during the all-important holiday shopping season late last year.

Samsung is riding high on sales of its Galaxy S8, of course, and Apple will almost surely enjoy a major lift when it brings a redesigned iPhone to market later this year. But Google’s first major move into the smartphone market appears to be an unqualified—if modest—success, and the company is likely to capitalize on that later this year with the release of a second-generation Pixel.