Google v Apple. Is This Now A Fight Worth Watching?

Pixel v iPhone7. Both stand up tall, but Apple shouldn’t be worried.

The Google Pixel looks like a promising move by the world’s biggest search engine, but Apple shouldn’t be too worried just yet. For months now, I have been eagerly anticipating Google’s new phone. After the Nexus bombed, I have been extremely keen on seeing how Google will come back into the smartphone game. This desire to know has been spurred by the incredible convenience that Google has brought to our day-to-day lives.

Search engine aside, their applications are what have really won me over.

Google Drive is my best friend at work.

Gmail has overtaken outlook as my most used mailing account.

Hell, Google Calendar is what keeps my life together (I’m only joking, my life isn’t together).

But you see my point, I associate Google as being masters in creating convenience. For that reason, I expect a lot from the Google Pixel; and if early review are anything to go by, it appears that Google were serious this time about throwing themselves into the smartphone mix, and I have to say, I am impressed.

The phone looks sleek, the camera is great, the battery life is awesome (I charge my iPhone at least three times a day) and it does have some nice features. However, let’s address the very large but not so grey elephant in the room, the Google Pixel and the iPhone aren’t exactly chalk and cheese, in fact they are extremely similar.

They look almost identical in terms of design, which we do have to credit to Apple; If Google tried to do something completely different they would have already lost, the iPhone’s structure is relatively flawless.

The only real difference I can think of from an aesthetic point of view is that iPhone’s button/fingerprint scanner is on the front, while the Pixel XL has the fingerprint sensor on the back.

I’ll briefly touch on features and functionality. While iPhone has Siri, which despite being an impressive feature has only really been used to see her beatbox (please try that), the Pixel has “Google Assistant”, which is essentially the same, but perhaps less sassy? The Pixel has slightly better screen resolution than its competitor, but its Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor is supposedly slower than that of the iPhone’s A10 Fusion processor.

On the face of it, there is very little that separates the two phones, but there is one similarity that really stood out for me, and that’s price. You guessed it, they’re almost IDENTICAL, which for Google, is a very bold move.

The notion of perceived quality is something I can recall back from “Fundamentals of Marketing 101” at Uni, pricing strategies as we know play an integral role in giving the consumer an idea of product quality. The identical pricing from the Pixel isn’t just a statement of quality, it’s a direct slap in the face of Apple. They want you to choose on an even playing field.

Googles confidence in their product however, should come with an element of caution. As brave as the strategy may be, this is Apple, this is the iPhone, this is the pioneer of the modern day smartphone market. One seventh of the world is using Apple’s prodigal son, and to abolish brand loyalty so quickly to a newcomer is by no means a small feat.

People may reference Samsung’s emergence as proof that the market isn’t completely owned by Apple. Despite Apple having greater brand equity, comparatively, Samsung’s presence in the smartphone industry is currently stronger than Apple’s when it comes to sales, but they have been a household name in the mobile business for some time, Google have not.

The Google Pixel is undoubtedly the flashy new kid on the block, with all the right bells and whistles, but at the same price, what real advantage does it offer over its competitors? I like the Google Pixel, I may even consider switching over for curiosity sake, but do I expect it to knock off the big two on its debut? No. The Google Pixel has very well courted our curiosity, but to get our attention, that will have to be earned.