The mobile technology sector is highly competitive. It’s not enough to just make good products, but to be one of the first and the bravest in offering something that really grabs people’s attention.
And trying to be unique and different is a huge financial risk, just ask Samsung. The Korean company has been a vicious one Apple competitor for many years; unstoppable.
However, there is a third big name in our wonderful world of mobile technology, with a ton of money and power behind it, that you would think would be as big an Apple challenger as Samsung. But unfortunately, Google is regularly so slow and indecisive to actually release competing products on time that it has probably missed its chance to ever become equal to the other two, in terms of global presence.
Google continues to flip-flop between releasing a foldable Pixel Fold and not
The Oppo Find N (left) and Galaxy Z Fold 3 (right) are just two of the many folding options we have in 2022, the market is growing
The Google Pixel Fold has been on fire for a few years now. Things kept changing since the first leaks we got that Google is working on a Galaxy Fold challenger, which it could release before Apple.
The name of the foldable Pixel alone has changed internally from the initially supposed “Google Pixel Fold” to “Google Passport”, to most recently – the “Pixel Notepad”. What has changed surprisingly often is the expected release date.
Google kept putting off and putting off this foldable phone, reportedly because it wasn’t sure if it had much to offer to compete with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. And while that makes sense – given that the Z Fold 3 is great, after several generational improvements – imagine if Samsung were like that. Not releasing the first Z Fold at all because there were durability issues and foldables didn’t even exist back then. No, what Samsung did is go ahead and pull the trigger, and then gradually started to not only put the foldable phone market on the map, but also dominate it.
Would Google have lost some money if it actually released the Pixel Fold last year? Probably. Would it have beaten the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in sales or even availability? Certainly not. But it’s not like Samsung cashed a bunch of checks from the first Z Fold. It took a bold risk and consistency to make this idea pay off, rather than being indecisive and potentially letting someone else steal the foldable phone market.
It took Google almost four years to release its own smartwatch, the Pixel Watch
Why did it take so long?
January 2019, Google paid $40 million to buy a smartwatch IP from Fossil. You don’t need your detective glasses to see that what Google bought would eventually turn into the… upcoming Google Pixel Watch. The Pixel Watch will also reportedly pack a four-year-old Samsung processor — the 2018 Exynos 9110.
Would Google have released the Pixel Watch in 2019, if it were a more decisive and fast-acting type of business? That processor would have been very current then, not so much now.
But no, Google took its time. The Google Pixel Watch is slated to come out this fall, 2022, many, many years after Apple conquered the smartwatch market, with Samsung dominating what’s left.
Google waited too long to make its own unique smartphone (Pixel 6)
The first Google Pixel (left) and the iPhone 6 (right)
In recent years, Google has started releasing Pixel smartphones. The first Google Pixel came out in 2016, manufactured by HTC. It received critical acclaim, but didn’t quite set the world on fire with a unique design or identity. In fact, it looked suspiciously too much like an iPhone 6 from the front, which had been out for two years.
A few years later with the Pixel 3 XL Google really dropped the ball in my eyes, giving it the most hideous, biggest notch ever just because Apple’s iPhones recently adopted a notch.
The Pixel 3 XL’s giant notch looks just as shocked as it did when I first saw it; I thought it was a meme at first, a fake phone design
It was the equivalent of a no-name Chinese iPhone knock-off from a design perspective, and really talked about how little Google tried to design its own identity, instead tricking your grandma into thinking the Pixel was an iPhone.
It’s not all bad though. Last year it was finally time – with the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, the search engine giant finally came up with its own bold smartphone identity. Those phones were undeniably Google Pixels, not an Apple clone, not a Samsung clone, nothing like that.
The Pixel 6 Pro is unmistakable in a crowd
Meanwhile, Samsung was the first (of the three) to release a foldable and now dominates the market
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 (left) and Z Flip 3 (right)
So Google is quite a big company. Parent company Alphabet owns some of the most popular websites in the world such as the search engine of the same name and of course YouTube. But Samsung has a military division. It develops so many types of consumer and private technology, dominates so many markets, that you might be surprised to find it in the top ten companies with the highest brand equity in the world. If you thought Google has money, well, Samsung isn’t exactly trying to make ends meet either. And while both companies can afford to take risks and try new things in the consumer technology market, Samsung goes ahead and does it all the time.
No years wasted by second guesses like Google. Once images and videos from the Royole FlexPai foldable prototype smartphone from China went viral online and people seemed to like the idea behind it, Samsung got to work. Or, just as likely, it already knew about it before the rest of us, and by then it was halfway through working on a similar product! In any case, Samsung made and released the first Galaxy Fold just a few months later. Now is the time to seize it!
And as we discussed, the Galaxy Z Fold series, in addition to the The Galaxy Z Flip series dominated the foldable smartphone market. With them, Samsung single-handedly made foldables mainstream.
google? Again, as we said – remains indecisive about even trying to go up against a challenger like Samsung. But shouldn’t you at least try?
Samsung has been releasing smartwatches for a while, keeping Apple sharp
The Galaxy Watch 4
While Google’s first smartwatch is still on the way, Samsung almost immediately began to hit back against Apple and its Apple Watch by ramping up production of its own Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Watch products.
And according to the latest reports, in 2022 Samsung has the second highest percentage of the smartwatch market share at around 10%. The first, of course, is Apple, while Google isn’t even on the map yet.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy Watch 4 was released late last year, alongside other variants for people to choose from, namely the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. Meanwhile, the Google Pixel Watch is still months after its release, and by many accounts it won’t offer anything special over Samsung’s smartwatch that has been out for many months.
In fact, the two smartwatches are quite similar in their round design with quite large bezels, along with the fact that they are both Wear OS 3 watches. But if Google doesn’t mind a late release of a lackluster Samsung smartwatch competitor, how come it’s so scared to do the same with a foldable one?
What do you think: Should Google be more assertive against Samsung and Apple, or will it never become their true equal?
Unfortunately for fans of Google hardware, the company was mostly a follower, not a leader.
Apple continues to do its own thing without worrying about keeping up with trends, and could soon even introduce a whole new massive wearable technology category to the masses — augmented reality — with its upcoming Apple AR glasses. And Samsung has already brought a new trend to the mainstream with its foldable phones.
These two companies are a perfect pair of complementary friends, and we need them to stay competitive and make new and better products. They’re like the Batman and the Joker – if you’ve seen the 2008 movie The Dark Knight, you can probably imagine Samsung saying to Apple, “I don’t want to kill you. You complete me. What would I do without you ?”
The question is, where does Google belong in the action-packed Hollywood movie of consumer mobile technology? Will such a powerful company eventually stand behind Apple and Samsung, afraid to compete with Samsung and just now give up on imitating Apple’s hardware design?
Or will we get a nice surprise like the Pixel Watch and next year’s recently teased Google tablet finally out? And even more so when it comes time for the new Pixel phones? What do you think?