- Title: Google unveils Pixel 4 phones with radar, more affordable laptop
- Date: 15th October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF DESIGN FOR ALL HARDWARE PRODUCTS AT GOOGLE, IVY ROSS, SAYING: "And we created a new, rippled, wavy bottom that's easy to grip. Pixelbook Go is lighter than Pixelbook, but we still manage to add a battery that is 15% larger, making it easier to keep working all day."
- Embargoed: 29th October 2019 18:03
- Keywords: Google Pixel 4 Pixel Pixelbook Go Pixelbook Pixel Buds
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA003B17HRGN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Alphabet Inc.â€™s Google unveiled new Pixel smartphones with higher quality cameras, a radar sensor and faster virtual assistant on Tuesday (October 15), but failed to provide enough to set the devices apart from rivals and nix concerns about price.
The Pixel 4 phones, in two sizes, headlined a New York press event at which Google also announced its first moderately priced laptop, first wireless earbuds and upgrades to its to well-reviewed WiFi router and burger-sized smart speaker.
Google started developing hardware about four years ago, wagering that it could introduce artificial intelligence into devices faster and better than rivals and that consumers would clamor for such features. The strategy has generated mixed results.
Its lower-priced devices have been top sellers, but are far from being major profit drivers. Higher-priced devices, such as the Pixel phones, have gained little traction versus those of industry leaders such as Samsung Electronics Co and Apple Inc. because of limited marketing. Consumers are also holding on to their devices for much longer.
The Pixel 3a boosted Google's smartphone sales to 4.1 million in the first half of 2019, compared to 4.7 million for all of 2018, technology research company IDC said. Still, Google accounted for under 1% of smartphones shipped during the second quarter, according to IDC.
Google's product rollouts have been slow and deliberate, but the company has said that just having the devices in the market has been good for its brand.
The fourth-generation Pixel starts at $799 for a 5.7-inch (14.5-cm) display and $899 for a 6.3-inch display, and for the first time all four major U.S. wireless carriers are selling the product.
A new feature based on radar technology enables users to skip songs or issue other commands by waving their hands above the screen.
The phones include a telephoto lens for long-distance photography and improved software to take photos of the night sky. Google Assistant has been deeply integrated into the device to reduce response times.
The new 13.3-inch touchscreen Pixelbook Go laptop, starting at $649, features a textured bottom panel, meant to make it easier to grip with one hand while working in transit.
It follows the Pixelbook, which debuted in 2017 with a starting price of $999. It has barely made a dent on the market, to the point that some researchers do not track it.
Google slashed costs for Pixelbook Go by shifting to magnesium from aluminum for the laptop exterior and removing hinges and wiring that enabled the prior model to be used like a tablet, according to Google officials.
It also improved the design of components such as the trackpad to cut manufacturing mishaps and therefore costs. But the company still included a 15% larger battery and reduced the overall weight of the device to 2.3 lb (1.04 kg) from 2.4 lb.
Pre-orders for the Pixelbook Go, which runs Google's Chrome OS operating system, began Tuesday in the United States and Canada.
Google also announced Pixel Buds, a set of wireless earbuds with hands-free access to Google Assistant launching next spring in the United States for $179.
(Production by Hussein Al Waaile and Roselle Chen)
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