Google must approve the iPhone SE model for the Pixel 6a

Google is preparing to launch the Pixel 6a, likely at I/O next month. Which got us thinking about how to improve the Pixel 6a. And why should Google essentially copy what Apple is doing with the iPhone SE.

Now yes, Google is already doing this to some extent. Providing the same cameras with a cheaper model and the same design. But Google must go a step further, now that it has Tensor. You see, Apple is basically using an older design, that’s been around since about 2016, and putting their latest processor in there, doing a storage upgrade (faster storage, not necessarily more storage), and pricing it around $400. Google can do that very easily now with the Pixel 6a.

Pixel 6a will adopt Pixel 6 design

The Pixel 6a will probably look like the Pixel 6 that was released last year. This is complete with the new camera visor design, which has really grown on me. But why does the Pixel 6a need this new design? There is likely a handful of older Pixel 3, 4, and 5 models still in Google’s hands that could be forwarded to the Pixel 6a.

Doing so will also reduce the Pixel 6a’s research and development budget, allowing Google to spend that money on newer hardware, like the new Tensor chipset that debuted last year. It is rumored to exist, but with the new design, its price will likely go up. However, it can’t go very high, as the Pixel 6 is only $599. The Pixel 5a is priced at $449.

There are also a lot of people who love the retro design of the Pixel. It’s plastic, yes, but who cares? I know many who have Pixel 4a and Pixel 5a and absolutely love the design. Plus, most people looking for a smartphone under $500 put a case on it and don’t rock it naked. So the plastic back is meaningless. It could also mean that the fingerprint sensor is back on the back of the phone, similar to how people like the iPhone SE for that fingerprint sensor.

Google Pixel 6a CAD Render 2

Replace the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor

Some like the sensor under the screen for fingerprints, but many of us hate it. This is due to their slowness, and the fact that you can’t really tell where they are, so it takes longer to open them. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor was amazing, it was where your index finger would normally sit anyway, so it was easy to unlock. People love that it goes back to the Pixel 6a.

It’s one of the reasons the iPhone SE sells as well as it does. There are people who do not want to give up the fingerprint sensor for Face ID. And during the pandemic, that made a lot of sense. Because Face ID was useless when we were wearing masks – although Apple finally added Face ID with a mask last month.

There is a market for small and powerful smartphones

While the majority of people want a bigger phone, we are increasingly watching more and more videos on our phones. There are still people who want a smaller phone. Google’s Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 phones were small, and they seemed to sell well. Although I’m sure the lower prices helped too.

In fact, Kristijan’s assistant editor still has the Pixel 4a. It tried out the Pixel 6 when it launched last year, and it found a great way to go. And to be fair, it’s a much bigger phone than the Pixel 4a. This is another reason why the iPhone SE is selling so well to Apple. It’s a smaller phone, with the latest specs, and at a much lower price.

Will the smaller Pixel 6a sell millions? no. But the pixel as a whole does not sell millions. Although the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro were the best-selling Pixel phones so far, they still barely made an impact in the market. But it’s something people want.

Finally, drop the price

Currently, the Pixel 5a costs more than the iPhone SE, which is actually a more powerful smartphone. The Pixel 5a certainly comes with more storage, 128GB versus 64GB on the iPhone SE. But there’s no real reason Google can’t compete with the Pixel 6a. Lower the price to $429, or even $399 if you want to be competitive.

At $399, that would make the Pixel 6a a foolproof recommendation for a lot of people. Especially with 128GB onboard storage. Now, they probably won’t go down that far, given the high inflation right now. The price will likely go up if anything.

Make it available on all carriers

This is really the last missing piece for Google and the Pixel 6a. carriers. While most countries of the world buy unlocked phones, this is not the way things work in the United States. The majority of people buy their phones from their carriers and finance them as well. The Pixel wasn’t on all three carriers very often, and it wasn’t really available from prepaid carriers and MVNOs. But the Pixel 6a would be the perfect phone available in Cricket, Boost Mobile, Straight Talk, and others. Because it is a good and cheap phone.

This is the missing piece from Google, along with better marketing. There are still a lot of people who don’t know Google makes phones. Which is kind of crazy, because the Pixel has been around since 2015, and the Nexus was much earlier. But that is the case.

Google desperately needs to cut deals with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. And those store employees should pay the Pixel. Samsung and Apple sell well because they offer a commission to carriers for selling those phones. If you walk into a Verizon store and tell them you need a new phone. They probably show you Samsung or Apple phones first. So they can get that commission. This is the only way it can compete with Google now.

This is why the iPhone SE is selling so well

These are all the reasons why the iPhone SE is selling so well for Apple. How far might you ask? Well, according to Counterpoint Research, last year the iPhone contained 7 of the top 10 best selling smartphones globally. The iPhone SE (2020) came in eighth place, ahead of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, surprisingly (although it appeared in September). Interestingly, the other three options on this list that weren’t iPhone are the Galaxy A12, Redmi 9A, and Redmi 9. This shows you that the most popular Android phones are cheap. As all three of these phones are under $200.

Share of the world's top 10 selling smartphones for 2021 Counterpoint

So Google, if you’re serious about competition, do these things. Lower the price to compete with the iPhone SE, use the same processor as the Pixel 6, use the older Pixel 5 and earlier design, and keep it small. Probably one of the best value phones of the year.

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