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With Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5, Google finds a viable smartphone strategy

Google's pursuit of the premium smartphone market never made a lot of sense, but now the Pixel franchise is playing in the growth area between $400 and $700.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

In pictures: Google's Pixel 5 'Launch Night In' event

Google's strategy with its Pixel smartphones has vacillated between brilliant and sometimes absurd, but the launch of the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5G highlights the company has hit its stride.

Before today's rollout of the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5, Google's strategy revolved around attacking the premium market and hoping to be considered along the likes of Samsung and Apple. But Google's product choices -- anyone remember the Pixel 4 launch a year ago? -- have sometimes been head-scratchers.

Also: Google unveils two new phones: Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5 

The problem with Google's Pixel approach has been that the company was charging premium prices for mid-tier specs. Sure, you get a lot of artificial intelligence and a good camera, but most of the Pixel franchise was lacking somewhere. In other words, the pricing was off. It was never really clear why Google was going for the premium category.  

Google's Pixel pricing isn't off anymore. At $499, the Pixel 4A 5G is a value. For a bit more memory and Gorilla Glass cover you'll pay $699 for the Pixel 5. And the biggest value is that both the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5 share the same camera system. The camera is the biggest feature in the smartphone. 


With the launch of the Pixel 4A 5G and Pixel 5, Google is staking out the mid-tier space in the smartphone market. Fortunately for Google, the price band between $400 and $600 represents the growth in the smartphone market.

According to IDC, the price brand between $400 and $600 is the sweet spot in the smartphone market. IDC projected that global smartphone value is expected to fall to $422.4 billion, down 7.9% from a year ago. Google will face fierce competition, but is likely to hold its own vs. rivals and partners such as Motorola, OnePlus and even Samsung


It took a few years, but Google now seems to have found its identity in smartphones and it's about utility and value. Whether Google makes money on its devices remains to be seen, but remember the game is ensuring that you're using the company's various services.

Pixel 5

You can preorder the Pixel 5 right now, with deliveries slated to start on Oct. 15. However, order times are already slipping into late October or early November. You can get it in black or green. 

Pixel 4A 5G

The Pixel 4A 5G is not yet available, but you can join the Google Store waitlist via the link below. It'll be available in black or white when it does launch, presumably by the end of the year.

Bottom line: The Pixel franchise is likely to see more demand with its current pricing than ever before.

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