Phones are getting VERY expensive in 2017. The new iPhone 8, once that lands later this year, will be the most expensive handset Apple has ever made. On top of that, you can expect to pay $1000 for the Galaxy Note 8 as well.
The Google Pixel phones are kind of pricey too, even more so when you factor in The Big G’s old Nexus phones. You still have TONS of cheaper options, especially in the Android space, but if you want a flagship phone in 2017 you are going to have to pay a big premium for it.
You could grab the OnePlus 5, of course, which is cheaper than most new, flagship handsets (though, again, it is more expensive that the OnePlus 3T). But I personally think there is a niche here that Google could exploit with its Pixel phones.
Everybody loved the old Nexus phones; they weren’t the best but they delivered where it counted – value for money and usability. The Nexus 6P was expensive, and rightly so, given its specs, but the most popular Nexus of all time was, of course, the Nexus 5.
Rumours suggest Google is prepping as many as three Pixels for 2017, and my hope is that one of them is a mid-range, sub-$450, offering. Google is uniquely positioned to do this as well because it makes enough money with Android to take any potential financial shortcomings on the chin.
A cheaper Pixel offering would be the perfect antidote to the myriad of $1000 flagships in 2017. It could even keep similar specs to the current Pixel, drop the display to 1080p, and focus on price-competitiveness and software performance.
I get that Google is attempting to build an iPhone-grade business with its Pixel line of phones, but a lot of Android fans – read: an overwhelming majority – miss the days of the Nexus 5 and the inherent value it offered, especially when compared to Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S phones.
The Pixel phones are very decent enough, though there is considerable room for improvement, but the value for money angle is no longer there – not by a long shot.
I think there is a real hunger for cheaper, feature-rich phones like the Nexus 5 in 2017, and Google is uniquely positioned to service this demand.
There are many, many issues with doing this, of course, but in the long term it’d be a move that’d secure Google plenty of new friends, as well as inductees for its ecosystem, which, in this racket, is kind of the name of the game.
The idea of spending $1000 on a phone makes me feel ill; I hate contracts, I like shopping around for the best data and call packages. But when a phone is going to cost me $1000, well, there’s only one way to really acquire it – a 24 month contract.
This is all conjecture on my part, obviously. I cannot really see Google going back to its old Nexus days, even if it were for just one of the three Pixel phones coming in 2017, but it would certainly be a nice surprise if it did. Even more so when you factor in how expensive the two most popular phones in the world have become.