This is how Google will steal customers from Apple and Samsung in Norway

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We’ve spoken to the head of Google Pixel.

Google's silver-colored Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro phones will be available in Norway.  We had a chat with the head of Pixel at Google about the Norwegian market, about the strategy and the way forward.

Apple and Samsung have a new competitor in Norway, the name Pixel.

Google Pixel, more specifically, and when the search giant is now entering the Norwegian smartphone market, the ambition is not just to be “present”, but to gain market share. Nanda Ramachandran, Head of Mobile at Google, is clear about this.

While his colleagues were on stage in New York on Thursday afternoon, Norwegian time, he was brought to Norway to highlight the Norwegian launch event — and to chat with

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6 October

The fact that Apple and Samsung dominate the Norwegian market does not seem to frighten Google.

– That’s how it always was. If you go back 10-15 years and there were only Blackberry, Nokia and Motorola, then something happened. Apple has greatly innovated with the touch interface. The foundation that Google is laying is fundamentally different from what other smartphone manufacturers, who focus on processing on the device itself, do on artificial intelligence and machine learning, says the Pixel chief.

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Google Pixel global chief Nanda Ramachandran on stage in Oslo.  Before joining Google in 2014, he worked for two years at Samsung, and before that at Motorola.

The first Pixel phone was launched in 2013. It took nine years before the brand became available in Norway, at the same time the Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds Pro earbuds also arrived. In all, Google now offers the Pixel in 17 countries, 10 of which are in Europe.

Data from analysis agency Canalys shows that Google’s mobile phone shipments have nearly tripled in the past two years, and the growth rate has already rebounded from the first half of 2021 to the first half of 2022, with more than 100 percent year over year. growth.

Looks like you’ve had sharp growth over the past three or four years with Pixel. Before that it didn’t seem like a priority, but now it is. what happened?

It’s always been a priority, I can tell you. Google is not a hardware company. Google is a software company, while its competitors have been doing it for decades. If you have other consumer electronics infrastructure and you’re going to launch a phone, you still have warehouses, and you’ll have logistics, return logistics, and warranty. Google had to build everything from scratch. It was very clear with the Pixel 1 to 3.

Pixel 7 on the left and Pixel 7 Pro on the right.

Eventually, Ramachandran says, it became reasonably clear to them that they would have to make significant investments in developing their own chips, so that they would have complete control over both hardware and software. The result was the chip that Google calls the Tensor, which now comes in the second generation in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro.

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– This takes time. Even when we were making the Pixel 1 and 2, we concluded that we had to launch the Tensor G1, and that could happen with the Pixel 6. We built muscle in the first three years, in terms of our market access and technical infrastructure. Now that those muscles are built, we are able to expand better, but the intention was always there.

Google is clearly the software features that will attract most customers to the Pixel, and many of them are using machine learning and artificial intelligence from the Tensor chip.

The camera app, for example, is able to remove unwanted elements in photos, it should be able to sharpen out-of-focus photos with the help of artificial intelligence and the phone can transcribe all the videos and voice messages it receives directly on the device without having to be connected to the network – For example, but not limited.

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google had called a large-scale and touching launch event in Oslo on Thursday, to mark the Norwegian launch of the Pixel.

Ramachandran acknowledges that delivering user experience to customers is a challenge.

At the time of purchase, people often think about things like battery, performance or camera. That’s why the Pixel is known for its camera, because it’s the biggest driver to buy, but once you start using the Pixel, the rest begins.

The Pixel manager notes that they have a practice where they roll out all the new features on older Pixel phones as well, at least as long as they don’t require new sensors or other hardware. They call it “feature drop” and it happens every three months.

New Google Transcripts also work on the voice messages you receive.

The Drop feature is also independent of Android versions, with Google promising three new versions of Android after launch. Plus, security updates come every month for five years — up from three years before Tensor launched with the Pixel 6. That puts Google second only to Apple, which is happy to offer six to seven new iOS versions — older iPhones and security updates for a while. longer.

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– What drives this?

– strung. Now that we have complete control over the technology, we also have control over the dependencies between software and hardware in a much better way, rather than relying on third parties. When I guarantee updates for five years, I have to make sure that the entire supply chain supports this initiative, both in terms of bug fixes, new features and things like that. Full control allows us to do this.

Ramachandran and Google have the same approach as Apple on the mobile front, while developing their own chips and technologies.  On the left, Google Norway Director of Communications Sondre Ronander.

Ramachandran says that security updates in this way are different from other updates to the operating system, which can depend on hardware upgrades.

The average phone life is between 36 and 42 months, so we feel five years is enough coverage for now. We also naturally talk about sustainability, and the fact that people update their phones every year doesn’t help from a sustainability perspective. You don’t have to upgrade every year, we don’t want you to upgrade every year. If you want the latest and greatest; Nice. If not, we won’t hold you back.

– You still have many partners who make Android phones. I get the impression that Tensor is essential to get the most out of your Android experience. Will it provide Layer A and Layer B on Android?

– First I want to define Android. Google will always be a platform company and Google services should work on almost all platforms and devices. Internally at Google, we at the Pixel team actually build on Android, just like every other manufacturer that uses and builds on Android. Of course, other manufacturers can do whatever they want, and their differentiation and vision may differ from ours. This is the beauty of Android.

We want to create the most organized Google experience possible for the user, which is why we’re embarking on this journey, says Ramachandran.

It also appears that Google is following the trend of making it easier to fix its products. Earlier this year, they announced a partnership with repair site iFixit, for both parts and how-to guides if you want to repair or replace a part on your Pixel phone yourself. In Norway, Elkjøp and Telia are sales and follow-up partners.

If there was a Pixel 8, would it be here?

– yes. Once we set off in a country, we stay in a country. We have a longer perspective on this. We have never withdrawn before,” Ramachandran says.

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

"Web specialist. Lifelong zombie maven. Coffee ninja. Hipster-friendly analyst."

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