Google finally made its own brand phone with the Pixel last year. It was a big hit with critics who lauded its refined software and solid if unspectacular build. We don’t know if it was a big hit with consumers because Google doesn’t release sales figures, but we may have just found out how many units the Pixel sold through Google itself.
The Pixel launcher’s download count in the Play Store was updated from the “100,000-500,000” marker to the “1,000,000-5,000,000” marker. That means Google has officially sold over 1 million Pixel phones. Unfortunately, we don’t have a concrete number of how many units were sold and the distinction between Pixels and Pixel XLs sold.
Google counts the number of downloaded apps to include pre-installed apps, which the Pixel launcher is. Google also applies device targeting, meaning no other devices aside from the Pixel can download the Pixel launcher. This makes the Play Store’s download tracker a viable source to track sales of the Pixel.
The number is peanuts when stacked up against iPhone and Samsung sales figures, who probably sell that many phones in their first hour of availability. But Google’s attempt was not to overtake Apple and Samsung right away, but to feel out the smartphone market and see how the Pixel performs. We know too well Google loves experimenting with products and isn’t afraid to sell few devices or pull said device within a year or two. We don’t think Google will do that with the Pixel, but stranger things have happened.
At this rate, the next time we’ll get an update on Pixel sales figures won’t be until it surpasses the 5,000,000 mark and the Play Store updates its downloads marker. We’ll update the story whenever that happens.