Opinion: Google Really Needs to Sell its Phones in More Regions


During a recent holiday trip to the Philippines, I made it my main objective to take tons of photos as I possibly could. It had been three years since I moved abroad, and it was nice to finally reconnect with the people and places that I had left behind. With that said, I brought along my Pixel 7 (which had been my daily driver and main camera phone for some time now) and I was really excited to use it as a camera, mainly because it has a way of making point-and-shoot photography really easy.

Of course, this wasn’t the first time that I’d get to go around and take photos using a smartphone. Having lived in the Philippines before, a ton of my photography was accomplished using countless Android phones from different manufacturers, albeit with often disappointing or sub-standard results (unless I used GCAM mods). You can then imagine my excitement this time around, snapping photos left and right with a Pixel in hand.

Which brings us to the question of “why didn’t you just use a Pixel before?” Well, to put it simply – I just couldn’t.

Availability and Support

Nexus 6P Fingerprint Sensor

As much as I would have loved to purchase a Google-branded smartphone in the Philippines, it was awfully difficult to get your hands on one. Back then, unless you lived in one of the bigger cities and were willing to hunt one down, knew someone in the US who could grab one for you, or were willing to take a gamble with dodgy grey market resellers with insane prices, the closest that one could get to a Pixel was, well, watching and reading reviews online. This goes way back to the days of the Nexus line of handsets, and even the Google Play Edition phones.

Carriers likewise don’t offer Pixel smartphone plans, with local network providers instead opting to go with brands that are more popular in Southeast Asia, such as Samsung, Oppo, and Vivo, to name a few. With that said, if you were able to purchase a Pixel, there are usually complications regarding warranties and such, since there were no “official” repair partners in the Philippines. While Google does maintain an office there locally, it technically does not handle retail hardware.

Growing Recognition

Of course, these were my impressions from a few years back – I have noticed some changes during my recent visit, and it seems that more people abroad have definitely heard of Google’s smartphones this time around.

For example, one of the larger malls in Manila that we went to actually had a Pixel 6a on display (at a licensed shop), accompanied by several other Google products, including the Pixel Buds A-series. A waiter at a café that we frequented recognized my Pixel 7 because of its camera window, a design trait that pretty much defined the hardware line in recent years (he later mentioned that he owned a Pixel 3XL before). A lot of friends and family also asked me about the Pixel (mostly due to the reviews that I frequently share online), and I’ve seen more locally-based Pixel enthusiast groups on social media platforms.

Having said that, it’s certainly nice to see the brand getting more recognition worldwide, although this takes us back to an important element in this discussion, which is official Google retail support.

Going Worldwide

As such, the launch of the Pixel 7 series has Google pushing to bring mainstream adoption to its smartphone line, partnering with large organizations such as the NBA, and releasing its phones in more regions worldwide. Currently, you can easily get a Pixel in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Australia, India, Singapore, and Taiwan. This is a stark contrast to previous launches – for example, the Pixel 5a was only available in the US and Japan, albeit due to the restrictions posed by the global pandemic at the time.

It’s no secret however that Pixel sales aren’t impressive, often being surpassed by bigger brands like Samsung and such. On one hand, a Nikkei report claims that Google has plans to double the number of its smartphone sales this year, ordering over 8 million units for the Pixel 7 series, a slight increase over the Pixel 6 (for which Google ordered over 7 million units). If this proves to be true, then it should be interesting to see how the company intends to further increase its sales, and if it decides to cover more markets in the process.

With all that being said, the Philippines is merely one example – should Google decide to go for better brand recognition (and more sales) for its Pixel hardware, there’s literally a world of possibilities to explore, and there’s little doubt that more people worldwide would be more than happy to try out a Pixel phone – it’s just up to Google to set things into motion.

Mike Viray
A writer and content creator with a love for tech and music, Mike is also an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.

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