Google’s new Pixel 2 is due for release in the coming months, and it will inevitably head off against the expected iPhone 8 from Apple. Tapping into the iPhone 8 market will certainly be challenging for Google, but there are some areas where the new smartphone from the mega-corporation can certainly improve on the Apple offering.

iPhone 8 market Google's new Pixel 2
Image Source: Andrea Cau / Chris Burns / YouTube video (screenshot)

Price tag

One of the most obvious of these is in price tag. While Apple has achieved a brand loyalty and market penetration that is the envy of all consumer electronics manufacturers, the iPhone range is still nonetheless criticized for the excessive costs involved in purchasing an Apple smartphone. Indeed, many disparaging remarks made by non-Apple consumers imply that the iPhone series is an overpriced fashion accessory.

These comments certainly seem excessive, but Google’s new Pixel 2 can eat into the iPhone 8 market by offering an affordable alternative to the iconic Apple handset. Considering the retail price of the last generation Google Pixel, it seems certain that there will be a significant gulf in expense between the iPhone 8 and Pixel 2 this year.

Google would be advised to keep cost as low as possible if it is to establish itself as a major smartphone manufacturer.

Large wraparound screen

The displays included in smartphones are becoming increasingly important, and this is another area where Google’s new Pixel 2 can target the iPhone 8 market. While it is believed that the OLED version of the iPhone 8 will include a larger display than previous iPhone versions, the screen included will not be as large as some of its competitors.

This leaves room for manoeuvre with Google, with the potential for the Pixel 2 to include a larger display than the iPhone 8. This could then be a major selling point of the device, although with Google releasing more than one model of the Pixel 2, there is likely to be one featuring a larger screen than the iPhone 8, and one with a smaller display.

Improved resolution

Aside from the physical screen itself, the resolution offered by the display is also of critical importance. And this is one area where Apple has undoubtedly fallen behind the competition in recent years. It does seem something of an omission from the consumer electronics giant that the iPhone series is yet to embrace quad HD, with the smartphone-sized version yet to even reach full HD.

While reports have suggested that a 2K screen is likely for the iPhone 8, Google’s new Pixel 2 could steal a march on the market-leading Apple device by delivering a display with a superior resolution. There is a question mark over whether Apple will go as far as embracing quad HD resolution in the iPhone 8 generation, and Google could certainly gain an advantage by enabling the Pixel 2 tolLive up to its name and display more pixels!

Dual-camera

Another aspect of the makeup of contemporary smartphones that particularly attracts consumers is the camera included in the device. Many people utilize their mobile phones in order to capture photographs in their everyday lives, and this means that developers are increasingly focusing on delivering world-class cameras in smartphones.

It will certainly be difficult for Google to get the better of Apple in this department, as the Californian corporation has been linked with some outstanding camera technology for the iPhone 8. But if the Pixel 2 is to compete on a level footing with the iPhone 8 then Google must surely include a dual-camera.

There have been reports that this will not be the case, and this would surely be a mistake, particularly as many of the major manufacturers are now switching to dual-lens technology.

Flexibility

While Apple’s iPhone series has been hugely praised and phenomenally commercially successful, one area where it can be reasonably criticized is its buttoned-down nature. Google has the potential with its Android device to deliver a more flexible platform. Although this seems unlikely, it could also embrace technology such as micro SD, which has proved rather popular in Samsung Galaxy releases.

Target China and emerging markets

It is interesting and important to note that Apple has mostly achieved growth in recent years in emerging markets. China has become an absolutely critical commercial marketplace; not least because it is the world’s most populous nation and now its largest economy. So China will unquestionably be a key iPhone 8 market, unless Google’s new Pixel 2 is able to make it a massive impression on consumers.

Google has certainly already achieved a brand recognition in China, and this could help it make some impact on the iPhone 8 market. While the west will undoubtedly remain extremely important in the consumer electronics niche in the future, the fact remains that emerging markets such as China will arguably surpass them in significance, not merely due to the vast populations in such nations as China and India.

If Google’s new Pixel 2 is to be a commercial success than it needs to be well ahead of the curve in East Asia and other developing territories.

Deliver several distinct models

While 2017 is expected to be the first ever year in which Apple releases three iPhone units simultaneously, or at least close together, it is notable that two of these devices will only be iPhone 7S upgrades. Effectively, the only iPhone 8 release in the calendar year will be the OLED model that has been so strongly rumored in the media.

This could possibly leave a small gap in the market for the likes of Google to release multiple devices. This is becoming increasingly important in the consumer electronics niche in general, with all device developers having to cover multiple bases in an increasingly balkanized and complex marketplace. Google should definitely pay heed to this trend and produce as many Pixel 2 models as is feasible.