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Even Google Can't Sell Premium Android Phones

The premium Android market amounts to a couple of Samsung phones - the Galaxy Sx and Note x (Note 7 fiasco excluded) which are responsible for almost all sales, and a half a dozen wannabes, fighting over the scraps.

Once of those wannabes turns out to be the Google Pixel / XL, for which some sleuthing by Ars Technica has revealed appallingly low sales. In fact, after eight months on the market the new Google phone appears to have sold just one million devices. That's probably equivalent to the number of pre-orders Apple will take for the next iPhone in its first fifteen minutes of availability.

So why has the Pixel done so poorly? Well an apparent inability to bring its new phone to a global market can't have helped. Pricing on a par with Samsung and Apple's finest, without having the USPs of either.

Rumours are that the incoming Pixel 2 will be built by LG rather than HTC - suggesting that the Taiwanese company has failed to meet Google's expectations in some way. We know LG has previously done a good job with Nexus phones and given its struggles with its own devices it could really do with the boost that building the Pixel 2 would give its mobile arm.

Then again we were saying the same things about HTC nearly a year ago and look how that's turned out.

Maybe, ultimately, the problem is that by gentrifying its own phones and moving away from the pure Android experience Google has managed to alienate the very customers that Nexus phones attracted.