Pixel 'demand is exceeding supply' at Verizon stores: Wave7

Demand for Google's Pixel remains strong at Verizon stores, Wave7 reported. Image: Google

Google’s Pixel continued to ring up sales at Verizon retail outlets after the holidays, according to new data from Wave7 Research.

The firm conducted a survey of 50 carrier stores last week and reported that the Pixel accounted for 9.5 percent of smartphone sales at Verizon in the last month. And while Verizon maintains its exclusive rights to the Pixel—no other U.S. carrier is able to sell it to customers yet—some users are buying the phone and activating it through other operators.

“AT AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint stores, 39% of reps (13 of 33) are aware of an average of ~2 Pixel activations each at these 13 stores,” Wave7 Research wrote in a research note to subscribers. “Most Pixel XL SKUs are shipping in March and most Pixel SKUs are out of stock as well.”

The lack of supply, particularly for the Pixel XL, indicates sales are markedly higher than Google had anticipated.

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Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL in October, and the handsets—the smaller of which starts at $650—have received rave reviews. The nation’s largest wireless carrier immediately backed the phone with a $25 million marketing campaign and continues to tout the phone, although its spending has cooled.

“Along with Apple, Samsung, and Droid, the Pixel/XL continues to be heavily advertised—on an equal footing with top OEMs—at a price point of $10 (Pixel) or $15 (XL) per month with trade-in of a high-end smartphone,” according to Wave7. The research firm also noted prominent in-store signage backing the Pixel, adding that “It is clear that demand is exceeding supply.”

The Pixel accounted for 12.3% of smartphone sales at Verizon stores during the first few weeks of December, Wave7 reported last month.

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Meanwhile, sales of Apple’s iPhone 7 remained strong as depleted inventories have been replenished, Wave7 said. The iPhone’s share of sales was up slightly at every carrier other than Sprint, with the iPhone 7 slightly outselling the iPhone 7 Plus. “Sales of the iPhone 7 exceeded sales of the iPhone 7 Plus at all four carriers, but the gap narrowed significantly from prior months, now that iPhone 7 Plus supply is greatly improved,” Wave7 wrote.