Google has finally officially unveiled its new smartphones, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, at an event in New York. Obviously, it is impossible not to draw a parallel between Google’s devices and those presented by Apple last month, with Mountain View and Cupertino being among the largest technology companies. And if Google’s smartphones are up to the standards of the 2019 flagships, there are still some elements on which the company should draw inspiration from its Californian competitor.
1. A design that pleases
We can discuss for a long time the design of the iPhone 11 and the notch still present on the front screen. But one thing is certain: it pleases!
Inaugurated with the iPhone X, this design has since been widely adopted by tech fans and Apple smartphone users appreciate it. The design was even largely copied by other manufacturers. Google also followed this trend with the Pixel 3 XL while finding a way to offer an even bigger notch.
This year, Google has once again changed the style of its devices. If its two Pixels are visually identical, we are far from being bewitched by the design. An upper bezel is quite visible on the front display. It’s an aesthetic choice made necessary by the implementation of all the sensors for Motion Sense but which is far from making the Pixel 4 a pretty phone and creating a new stylistic trend in the world of smartphones as did Apple. Your comments on the discovery of the first images of the camera also mirror a disappointment in the tech community on this subject.
In addition, it would be nice if Google, like the Cupertino firm, could set up a real design policy. Instead of spending development resources each year on a new box, the search engine giant should focus more on developing and improving software and hardware. Google could thus create loyalty and true brand identity while avoiding a drastic drop in the price of its devices several months after their release.
2. Create a better ecosystem
Maybe I should explain what I mean by ecosystem. With this term, I mean a system in which the elements work in full harmony, thus making the user dependent on your brand. This allows your company to maintain or increase the number of users and ensure a balance and brings financial benefits.
Apple has always been mocked for its ecosystem: Apple products running on the Apple system only for Apple users. The firm emphasizes the complementarity between the products and services of its brand, ensuring such quality that regular users would find it difficult to imagine leaving this successful ecosystem. All you need is at least one Apple device and an ID to access the brand’s free services and applications, and to be able to use your devices in the best way with each other. In other words, Apple directly or indirectly encourages consumers to invest in its products and use its services.
Google is very greedy and when it sees the big cake that the mobile market represents, it wants to eat it itself. The problem is that by giving access to everyone to AOSP, it gives the cutlery to other manufacturers to eat the cake with it. Of course, Google is smart and still gets its money’s worth: the more people use Google and its services, the more it can monetize the data, even if it comes via other manufacturers. For this reason, it is very unlikely that Google will change its software openness policy, but it can develop some things to its advantage.Owning your own range of smartphones is certainly interesting, but it is not really worth it if you find (software speaking) the same thing as what exists on other phones on the market. Google should, therefore, offer more practical and exclusive features to its devices, thus locking the user into its ecosystem.
3. Create a clearer marketing strategy
No matter how much the iPhone costs, no matter what new features it brings, Apple has managed to convert its smartphones into almost essential products. Owning an iPhone is a distinctive sign. The brand, through its marketing, has built a community of fans who are addicted to all the products it offers. Google, in terms of hardware, is still far from the level of its competitor.
But instead of trying to copy Apple’s strategy, it should create its own completely distinctive and easily recognizable gameplan. Steve Jobs has succeeded in popularizing the keynote concept by transforming a product announcement into a real show. But why are all the other manufacturers, including Google, struggling to imitate Apple’s ads? I am not interested in hearing “it’s amazing” or “wonderful” from Steve Jobs or Tim Cook, especially as no new innovations are announced. Google should take advantage of these moments to change the way it communicates about its new products and introduce real changes.
If Google now wants to establish itself as the star of the mobile universe, it must step up its efforts to make itself truly known to others.
What do you think Google needs to compete with Apple?