Google rips iPhone for being a rip-off

In a questionable ad for the Pixel 3a, Google seems to equate its new cheap phone with the iPhone X series.


A fair comparison?

Screenshot by ZDNet


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Welcome to today's edition of Philosophical Questions.

Is a Mini just as good as an Audi A8?

Is an In-N-Out Burger as good as one at the Four Seasons?

And when you show your friends your cheap ASOS shoes, and they believe they're Prada, does it make the shoes ideal?

I only ask because Google seems to have been plastering several cities with ads comparing the company's new, cost-effective Pixel 3a with the iPhone X series.

No, the ads don't literally say iPhone X. They say Phone X. But what else could Google possibly be referring to? The mystery phone hidden behind the billboard?

In essence, then, Google wants you to believe that its 3a is just as good as an iPhone that'll cost you more than twice as much.

Or, I suppose, just as good as a Google Pixel 3 that'll cost you more than twice as much. At least, for the 128GB version.

I don't dispute for a nanosecond that the Pixel 3a isn't a very fine phone. Some might say, though, that its specs might bring it closer to an iPhone SE than an iPhone XR.

If you buy a 3a, you'll make so with a single camera for your selfies -- the shame of it. You'll also have a far slower processor. Oh, and you won't be able to drop it down the toilet or in the swimming pool without ruining it.

One more thing. Your wireless charging joy will be extinguished.

Then again, Google is touching on a very important reality here.

The phone market is clearly straining to justify inflated prices. Whether it's Apple or Samsung -- or, indeed, Google itself -- deep-seated enthusiasm for spending $1,000 or more on a phone isn't at its height.

Strategically, moreover, Google has targeted Apple as being the elite's representative. Why, only last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai carped at Apple in a less than subtle manner by insisting the company wanted to create privacy for everyone, not just for the wealthy.

Some might mutter that this was a step forward from offering privacy to no one for the many years in which Google made a very fat living.

I suppose we should expect exaggeration in ads, just as we expect lying in politics and cheating in sports. Or is it cheating in politics, exaggeration in sports and lying in ads?

I wonder, though, how many people will be inspired by these billboards, only to feel a little let down when they examine the Pixel 3a more closely.

Offering value is hard to make exciting.