Requested Google is one of the suppliers to produce more than 7 million of its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphones – almost double its phone shipments last year – as the US search giant tries to grab market share from Huawei.
Google is trying to take advantage of its position as the only American manufacturer of Android smartphones.
The company also asked suppliers to build the more than 5 million Pixel 5A phones unveiled this spring. Smartphone shipments last year totaled just 3.7 million, according to IDC.
And this is the most open step so far by the company to increase production of smartphones. It also represented a sharp turnaround from last year, when the company was forced to cut production due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company tells suppliers that its position as the only US maker of Android smartphones helps it boost its business in Europe and Japan.
The company is specifically aiming to capture market share from Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi – the world’s three largest smartphone makers – who have all profited at Huawei’s expense.
Huawei smartphones and other devices run on Google’s Android operating system before Washington severely restricted the Chinese tech company’s access to US technology over national security concerns.
Most other leading smartphone makers, including Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo, use Android as their standard operating system.
The company has high hopes for the Pixel 6 as it is the first smartphone powered by its in-house mobile processor, Tensor, a key differentiator that could enable the company to stand out amidst the tough competition.
Google wants to double smartphone production with the Pixel 6
The search giant has been pushing ahead with its hardware ambitions over the past several years.
In 2018, it completed a $1.1 billion deal to acquire a portion of the smartphone division of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC and its 2,000 employees working in research and development to enhance the phone’s capability.
The company now has a hardware team of more than 4,000 employees in Taiwan, which is the largest hardware development base outside the United States.
Pixel 6 production remains in China. And that’s after the pandemic disrupted the company’s plans to move most of its smartphone production to northern Vietnam. The Pixel 5A is manufactured in Southeast Asia.
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