In the year and a half since Google last rejigged its phone hardware business, Pixel has managed to carve a niche for itself, owing to its first-in-class cameras among other standout features. However, these haven't translated into great sales for the Mountain View company.
According to IDC's Research Director, Francisco Jeronimo, Google shipped a total of 3.9 million Pixel devices in 2017. This includes all the variants of the Pixel smartphones including the original Pixel and Pixel XL as well as the newer Pixel 2 and its XL variant. The sales have shown growth by doubling the Pixel shipments in 2016, but represent an insignificant number in the industry, which commands a market size of just under 1.5 billion.
Pixel has additional perks for its owners as they are the first to receive new feature updates, something Android phones are notoriously bad at. Moreover, Pixel users get "unlimited" original-quality uploads to Photos. However, the devices have been marred by issues including screen burn-ins, and mic issues that have culminated in a lawsuit by users against Google.
Meanwhile, Apple has sold more than 77 million iPhones in the same period, dwarfing Pixel sales almost 20:1. It doesn't look like Google plans on stopping anytime soon, though, as it recently purchased the HTC team that helped design and create the Pixel 2 devices for a whopping $1.1 billion.