Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 TeaseSource: Google

What you need to know

  • A new report claims Google is planning to produce less than 1 million Pixel 5 phones this year.
  • Google's phone sales fell below its target last year, and the company is reported to have shipped just 1.5 million Pixels in the first half of 2020.
  • The Pixel 5 and the Pixel 4a 5G will debut at Google's "Launch Night In" event later today.

In just a few hours from now, Google will take the wraps off its first 5G Pixel phones, along with a new Chromecast and Nest-branded smart speaker. Ahead of the event, a report from Nikkei Asia claims Google has set a surprisingly modest sales target for the Pixel 5, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Google is apparently looking to produce only around 800,000 units of the Pixel 5 this year. Initial production for the Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 4a combined is currently set at just 3 million units. Not only has COVID-19 lowered demand for smartphones globally, it also disrupted Google's plans of moving production of its Pixel phones to Vietnam. While the Pixel 4a is already being produced in Vietnam, the Pixel 5 is being manufactured in Shenzhen, China.

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A source close to Google told Nikkei:

Google gave a relatively conservative order forecast this year because its flagship Pixel 4 did not sell well last year, and because COVID-19 is causing their team to stay on the safe side concerning handsets for now.

Google had set an ambitious sales target of 8 to 10 million units last year, but it could only ship 7.2 million. Sales of the company's flagship Pixel 4 series were particularly disappointing. According to data from IDC, Google only shipped 1.5 million phones in the first six months of 2020, a massive decline compared to the 4.1 million units it sold in the first half of 2019.

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