With the release of Google Pixel 3 in October, Google confirmed its position as a worthy challenger in the bloody war of the smartphone industry. Despite the handset's glowing reviews, the Pixel line still has a very small market share, especially over popular Samsung or Huawei lines.
Although Google's ambitions for smartphone dominance may have a long way to go, it made big strides in 2018 with Google Home hardware products like the Google Home Mini. It also strengthened its reputation as the reigning king of AI and virtual assistant world.
Let's look at how Google ended 2018 and what is likely to come in 2019.
Pixels sell, but market share is still small
Pixel 3 XL was probably the most successful smartphone in 2018 in a metric: organic publicity. While Google probably used millions of promotions for the mobile phone, the leak to black market prototype devices gave the Pixel 3 campaign than Google could ever buy.
Months before the official launch of Pixel 3 was even revealed, the audience had already seen Pixel 3 XL from all angles. We watched unboxing videos, complete reviews and photographs trying before Google ran another official ad for the device.
Even with this campaign, Google Pixel 3 was not a sales juggler. According to the revenue estimates, the Pixel line – which includes Pixel smartphones, Google Pixelbook and Google Pixel Slate – achieved about $ 1.78 billion in gross gross profits in 2018. It may seem like part, but Samsung's mobile division has done 2 Billions of dollars in gross profit from smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2018. It was also a poor quarter.
Pixel line goes well – if you don't compare it to another big smartphone on the market.  Granted, Samsung offers many different smartphones, while Google only has one line, but it does not rule out how Pixel smartphones do not make Google almost as much revenue as its competitors' devices.
Another metric highlights Google's lack of market share is its own Android distribution report. The latest report, October 26, 2018, shows devices running Android 9 Pie – which will theoretically contain all Pixel smartphones at that time – amount to less than one-tenth of all active Android devices.
One-tenth of one percent of the 2 billion active Android devices are 20 million units. That means we can estimate that there have been less than 20 million Pixel smartphones sold since the original Google Pixel was launched in 2016.
Once again, 20 million look like many smartphones in two years of sales, but in the 2017 fiscal year sold Apple over 216 million iPhones.
All of this data points to one thing: Google's ambitions in the smartphone market have a very long way to go.
The only thing Google has over the competition is software. Along with a steady stream of Android updates, the Pixel smartphone line has undoubtedly the best camera software for any smartphone in the history of smartphones. It also has unique AI-based features that competitors have yet to match.
We just have to wait and see if Google can make these superior products more sales.
Google Chrome OS hardware does not get traction
Google Chrome OS is doing extremely well, especially in the education sector. By the end of 2017, in the United States, nearly 60 percent of mobile computers were from kindergarten to class 12 Chromebooks.
School systems love Chrome OS. The operating system is easy for kids to learn and use, and the hardware costs a fraction of what Windows laptops go for.
So why isn't Google Pixelbook or the recently released Google Pixel Slate a best-selling computer on the market
That answer is easy too: price.
Google will never get a move in the market for laptops if it does not release hardware at a reasonable price.
Competitor companies like Samsung, Asus, and Acer sell Chromebooks as hotcakes by keeping the devices as cheap as possible. Google takes the opposite approach and creates top-tier hardware with a top-ten price tag. The input level variant of the Pixel Slate is a huge $ 800 if you buy it with (one would say) keyboard sleeve. An extended model of slate with keyboard sleeve costs you no less than $ 2000.
If Google wants to get into the laptop market, it must leave the idea of selling Chromebooks to Apple prices, at least for now. The Pixel Slate is powerful, beautiful and absolutely stunning, but the people who are ready to spend so much money on a laptop or tablet will just buy a Microsoft Surface Pro or Apple MacBook instead. It looks like Pixel Slate was just made for Google fans.
Maybe Google could command $ 2000 for a Chromebook year down the line. Currently, it's a stupid credit.
Smart speakers are Google's success story of the year
Despite the high development of Pixel smartphones and laptops, Google's smart speaker hardware is a power to be reckoned with. In 2016, it was estimated that Google received a gross profit of $ 49 million from its entire series of Home devices. In 2018, Home products will earn Google an estimated gross profit of $ 847 million, an increase of over 1.728 percent in two years.
If you look at revenue instead of profit, things become even more spectacular. In 2018, it is estimated that Google has made $ 3.4 billion in Home Hardware revenue, which is about the same amount of Pixel hardware did.
A Pixel smartphone costs much more than most Google Home hardware. At $ 50 per pop, Google could potentially have sold over 50 million Google Home Minis in 2018.
Google moves huge amounts of Google Home hardware – and the numbers just get bigger.
Unfortunately, the two big companies in the market for smart speakers – Google and Amazon – do not report how many products they send. By using market research estimates and various related data, it is safe to assume that Google is concerned with Amazon share.
In addition, many research environments report Google Assistant – running Google Home hardware – the best virtual assistant currently available. Most reviews of smart speakers also conclude that Google Home hardware is the best you can buy.
This is all great news for Google, as AI and virtual assistants are the future. Although Google's cash cow right now is Google Search, it won't be that way forever. Google knows years from now, its virtual assistant becomes its cash cow, and the company has already taken the lead.
An interesting thing to note about Google Home hardware is the price. A Google Home Mini is $ 50 and a Google Home Hub Smart Screen is $ 150. Could it be a coincidence that these price-to-move devices are the best that goes for Google's hardware department right now?
There is still a lot of competition
Google Search has little competition worldwide. Gmail, Google Maps and Google Chrome are also virtually untouched in their markets.
This is not the case with Google hardware devices such as the Google Pixel smartphone or Google Pixel slate. Even the successful success of Google Home faces stiff competition from Amazon and others.
In the smartphone arena, Google meets competitors who deliver devices with similar hardware and lower prices. A phone like OnePlus 6T submits Google Pixel 3 with hundreds of dollars, delivering more RAM, more internal storage, the same processor and the same all-glass building. Yes, Pixel 3 has a far superior camera, but OnePlus understands that consumers will buy a device in the chains if it cuts the right corners to keep it cheap.
RELATED: OnePlus 6T vs. Google Pixel 3 XL  In the case of laptops and computers, Google rates out of the market. The Microsoft Surface Pro board is in its sixth generation, meaning consumers can find Surface Pros at half the price of a low-end Pixel Slate. To make matters worse, Surface Pro will be able to run Windows applications that most people still look for in a portable experience.
No matter how fancy a laptop Google does, it will buy it if it runs Chrome OS and costs as much as a MacOS or Windows device. Consumers will stick to the operating system they know, unless Google can give them an incentive to switch – meaning the price is dropped.
Finally, Google Home hardware makes it incredibly good, but Google's main competitor Amazon also does well. In addition, Amazon does most things faster than Google. It had its first smart speaker on sale well before Google. Amazon also strikes Google in the smart display market and often releases new features before Google.
That's a good bet Amazon will launch a new smart speaker product in 2019, and Google will launch its own response to that product months later.
If Google wants to truly dominate the smart speaker business, it must be faster than Amazon.
Google in 2019
Google is ready to drop some seriously interesting products in 2019. The most interesting is probably the expected Google Pixel 3 Lite (which may or may not be its real name).
Up to now, there have been two Pixel phones released each year: the regular Pixel and its XL counterpart. However, in 2019, we expect Google to be a medium-sized Pixel and Pixel XL, which probably delivers the same software experience as "real" Pixel 3, but with downgraded hardware and specifications to make it more affordable.
This could open up the Pixel experience to people in developed countries with more modest budgets, and potentially allow people in developing countries such as India to buy a Pixel. It can be a great blessing for the Pixel line.
For the first time we will probably see a medium-sized Pixel smartphone in 2019.
We don't know much about Pixel 3 Lite, including the price. Google can overprice it and oppose the whole idea. We'll probably hear more about Pixel 3 Lite soon.
While we have some information about Pixel 3 Lite, we have not heard anything about Google publishing a laptop or tablet in the middle. If Google doesn't plan to release a Pixel Slate Lite in 2019, it really should. As mentioned earlier, people who can afford a Pixel Slate can probably not buy it over a Windows or MacOS based machine at a comparable price. If Google could deliver an advanced $ 500 series hardware experience (with the keyboard included), it could stand a chance of getting a serious market share.
Google's project stream – allowing you to play AAA video games using your browser – can also help with a variety of Chrome OS tablet sales. If Google can make a Chromebook or tablet run pretty much everything on a virtual server, Chrome OS would really have a chance against Windows and MacOS. The project flow is still in its infancy, but this is not likely to make a big difference this year.
Finally, we didn't see Google in use in 2018. But with Google's push on Wear OS and Google Fit, it seems that it's just a matter of time before we see a smartwatch made by Google.
RELATED: 2019 will be a good year for smartwatches and training tracks
There is some really untapped potential on the portable market, especially for Google. It can sell a laptop not as a generic smartwatch, but more like a Google Home smart speaker you carry around your wrist at all times. For it to work, Google has to adopt the same strategy it did with its Home hardware: do it well and do it cheaply.
Google's greatest advantage: Unlimited cash
] Unlike virtually all other hardware manufacturers in the mobile industry, Google writes virtually money from its Google Search business. How much money the company comes in from Search alone helps finance all kinds of risky attempts (Wi-Fi balloons, some?), As well as simpler things like the Pixel smartphone.
With that in mind, there is really no excuse that Google is not one of the best hardware manufacturers in the business. It has the talent, money, marketing force and infrastructure to do just about anything it wants. Therefore, the low adoption rates for the company's smartphones and tablets are so confusing.
If Google really wants to dominate the mobile markets, it must start from the beginning, just like any other company. It needs to release smartly priced products to get people hooked, and then release better, more expensive products as the business becomes more refined.
This whole strategy of rushing out of the port lets Apple prices on hardware riddled with problems and out -Specified by phones half of the price simply won't get the company anywhere. It understands this with Google Home hardware, but not with other divisions.
Google has everything it needs to make 2019 its year. Let's see if it can.
Next: HTC in 2019: Last Chance Salon