What you need to know
- A new report claims that the Pixel 6 "isn't doing well" with carriers.
- The report suggests that Google is attempting to use "very high" kickbacks for sales staff.
- This comes despite Google's record-breaking Pixel sales in Q4 2021.
It's no secret that Google has struggled to maintain the same level of reliable software releases with the Pixel 6 series. The phones have experienced a bevy of bugs that render different key features practically useless until another software update is pushed. But a new report claims that Google is taking measures to improve carrier sales of its latest devices.
The report comes from Wave7 Research (via PCMag), and states that carrier sales of the Pixel 6 are in such bad shape that "Google has resorted to "spiffs" to juice up Pixel sales at Verizon." For the unaware, "spiffs" are essentially higher commission levels for salespeople that are designed to have a phone recommended over something else. It's not an uncommon practice, as these spiffs can also be thought of as a bonus if you were to sell a specific type of phone over another, and has been around for years with pretty much every commission-based job.
What comes as a bit of a surprise is that this report comes following Google's Q4 2021 results. In those results, Google shared that it experienced "record-breaking" sales for the Pixel line. Unfortunately, Google does a pretty good job at not providing actual sales figures for specific devices, leaving us to rely on these various reports to deduce how well Google's phones have been performing. Nonetheless, have reached out to Google for comment and will update if one is provided.
This report also goes on to say that "outside Verizon, there seems to be nearly no interest in the Pixel line." That doesn't come as too much surprise at this point in the release cycle, given that the Samsung Galaxy S22 is newer, offers a similar experience, and carriers offer some incredible deals to make the higher price more palatable to subscribers.
Another notch in Samsung's belt can be attributed to the company's drastic turnaround on the software side. Following years of awful update cycles, Samsung is now at the top of the mountain, often beating Google to the punch with the latest security patches, which helps keep it atop the list of the best Android phones.
On the other hand, Google continues to struggle when it comes to getting timely software updates to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. While the April Security Patch seems to have gone off without a hitch, Google most notably had to delay the release of the December patch until January, and that still ended up breaking functionality for some owners.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Google's sales trend once the Pixel 6a is announced. Rumors suggest that it will largely be a Pixel 6 with a few features removed but will still be powered by the same Google Tensor chip. The latest batch of rumors and speculation point to a potential unveiling at Google I/O 2022, which is scheduled to take place in May.
Better than you think
The Pixel 6 arguably offers the best value of any Android smartphone on the market. It pairs Google's flagship Tensor chip with updated camera hardware all packed into a sleek, new design. Software bugs not withstanding, this phone is pretty incredible.
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.
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