What has been going on in the tech industry the past month? Technology giants are stalking the landscape again, looking for prey, seeking to devour customers, and bring them into a walled garden ecosystem. Pray you do not get caught.
I’m talking about Apple, right? Nope. Not this time. It has become clear that every major technology gadget maker works diligently to capture customers and hold them hostage to their own gated community.
Apple does it. Microsoft does it. Amazon and Samsung, of course. And Google is doing it, too. Each giant has its own ecosystem and each does its best to suck people in and drain the independence from their choices.
First Apple with iPhone 11 models, now Google with Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.
Unfortunately for Google and the company’s many thousands of customers, it’s too little, too late, and they’re priced too high.
Pixel 4 is more like a Galaxy S10 than an iPhone 11 Pro, minus a camera. That’s right. Only two cameras on Pixel 4 models, but plenty of camera software improvements so it’s unlikely most of us will be able to tell which photos were shot on which smartphone cameras.
A key point of good product marketing is differentiation and Pixel 4’s do just that with a built-in forehead instead of a Notch. Why a giant forehead? Google crammed in the face-unlock-camera, the selfie cam, light sensor, the new Soli radar chip, the Face ID-like dot projection, the IR camera, and the flood illuminator but they took up so much room the company needed a big forehead because it wouldn’t fit into a smaller Notch.
What’s to like about Pixel 4 models?
Not much. Why not?
These new smartphones do not really improve on the new iPhone 11 models. Not price. Not hardware. Not capability. Google offers less trade-in value for old Pixel smartphones than Apple does old iPhone trade-ins. Specifications here and there are more than the new iPhones, but Android requires more RAM to work as well as iOS on lesser RAM.
What’s the compelling reason to buy a Pixel smartphone?
Considering Google’s failed attempts to diversify its business into hardware, I wonder what motivates the thousands of customers who buy into the ecosystem, but if you 1) hate Apple, and 2) are invested in Google’s free software, and, 3) you care nothing about privacy, security, usability, resale value, then all those new pieces of Pixel hardware are waiting for an eager buyer.
Otherwise, everything from Google’s hardware these days is too little, too late, and too much money for what you get. Still, if you must upgrade from old Google or Samsung hardware, and you must stay inside their ecosystem, then just wait a couple of months. Everything will be on sale at about half price.
Just like last year.