Google won’t say how many Pixel phones it shipped in 2017, but one analyst from the research firm IDC has a number: 3.9 million.
The analyst, IDC Research Director Francisco Jeronimo, said the figure includes both generations of the phone, the Pixel 1 and 2. For comparison, it’s a “tiny portion” compared to the entire 1.5 billion market size of smartphones altogether, Jeronimo said. And it’s just a sliver compared to the 77.3 million iPhones Apple sold just in the last quarter.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.
Still, while the numbers are small, the good news for Google is that they are growing. Jeronimo said Google doubled its Pixel sales in the last year.
Google initially debuted the Pixel, the search giant’s first branded phone, in October 2016, and unveiled the second generation of the device exactly one year later. The company has made a serious investment in hardware. Google brought in former Motorola executive Rick Osterloh to lead its hardware division in 2016, which includes its Google Home smart speakers, Chromecast streaming devices and Google Wi-Fi routers.
The company also said last year it made a $1 billion investment in hardware maker HTC to bring 2,000 engineers — many of whom worked on the Pixel — to Google. And the search giant’s hardware division keeps growing. Last week, Google said it is folding Nest, the smartphone device maker, into the Google hardware team after being spun out into a seperate company under Google’s parent Alphabet in 2015.