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Google uses a similar approach to Apple for its Pixel products WGN Radio 720

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Google on Wednesday took a big step toward advancing its Pixel product line along the path already paved by Apple and a variety of trend-setting devices.

Recent additions to its six-year-old Pixel brand will include Google’s first smartwatch, which draws on the features and experience gained from last year’s $ 2.1 billion acquisition of fitness gadget maker Fitbit.

The new watch, designed for the fall release, is Google’s first major attempt to make its mark in wearable technology, a market that has been growing steadily since Apple introduced its smartwatch in 2014. So far, Google’s presence in the smartwatch market has been limited. create a version of your mobile Android operating system for other companies ’watches.

Google also used its annual I / O developer conference to introduce the Pixel tablet, which is scheduled for release next year to compete with Apple’s market-leading iPad.

In addition to showcasing its future devices, Google also reviewed the next version of its Android operating system, which runs on most smartphones in the world except Apple’s iPhone. He also noted several advances in artificial intelligence.

Google’s focus on new devices suggests that the company, best known for its dominant search engine and other popular software on the Internet, is confident that it now has better control over how to design and manufacture hardware. It released its first Pixel smartphone in 2016.

“Building opportunities takes a lot of time, and now you see technology coming through a lot of different products,” Rick Osterlo, executive director of Google Devices, told reporters earlier this week. “It was like an iceberg when you didn’t see much of what was going on downstairs, but now you can really see how all these things come to the surface.”

Because Google already brings in more than $ 200 billion annually in digital advertising sales, Google can afford to branch out in different directions and find new ways to communicate with people, said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen.

Adding more products to the Pixel line “gives them another touch point to learn and experience things with people more directly,” Nguyen said. “Now they’re not just in your pocket, but now they can be on your wrist and in your ears.”

Before releasing its smartwatch, Google will complement its selection of Pixel phones with a new budget model called 6a, which will be released in late July, along with its first set of wireless headphones that include noise reduction.

The Pixel 6a will include Google’s best processor, but sells for $ 449 – a 25% discount from the slightly more sophisticated Pixel 6 released last fall. The Pixel Buds Pro will sell for $ 199. The release of both products is scheduled for July 28.

Because Google already brings in more than $ 200 billion annually in digital advertising sales, Google can afford to branch out in different directions and find new ways to communicate with people, said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen.

Adding more products to the Pixel line “gives them another touch point to learn and experience things with people more directly,” Nguyen said. “They’re not just in your pocket, but now they can be on your wrist and in your ears.”

The watch will be the first product to test the privacy guarantee Google gave to get regulatory approval for Fitbit’s takeover 16 months ago. As part of the deal, Google has promised not to collect health and fitness information accumulated through Fitbit features to sell digital advertising, which brings in most of its revenue – a commitment the company said it would fulfill with the new Pixel Watch.

Although they are still not as popular as phones, smart watches continue to make significant strides with projected worldwide shipments of 31.3 million units this year, compared to 18.5 million in 2019 year before the pandemic helped increase demand for Internet-connected gadgets.

Even after pouring billions of dollars into the hardware division, which now employs thousands of people, Google has not made much progress.

Despite occasional bright reviews, Pixel smartphones account for less than 1% of the global device market, according to research firm International Data Corp. In total, IDC estimates that less than 30 million Pixel smartphones have been sold since its release. the first model almost six years ago. In contrast, according to IDC, in the first three months of this year alone, Apple shipped more than 56 million iPhones.

But IDC analyst Nabila Popal said there are signs that Pixel’s line of smartphones is starting to gain more traction. She believes the Pixel 6 would have sold even better than it already is had it not been for the shortage of chips that damaged various products, increasing the likelihood that the Model 6a at a lower price would be “very well received”.

For its part, Google says the Pixel 6 has already surpassed the sales of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 combined in the first six months of the market.

https://wgnradio.com/news/technology-news/google-adopts-an-apple-like-approach-for-its-pixel-products/

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