Google announced the next generation of Pixel smartphones on Monday. Without sharing too many details on the phones set to debut this fall, the announcement was more of a teaser of what’s to come. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will be the first smartphones powered by Google's own silicon, a custom-built System on a Chip called Tensor.
“Tensor was built for how people use their phones today and how people will use them in the future,” the announcement reads, with a special focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Using custom-built silicon for the first time in a smartphone, Google is going down the same road that Apple has traveled for a couple of years in a bid to finally gain a foothold in the high-end smartphone market.
Having worked with various hardware makers before, Google debuted the “made by Google” Pixel smartphones in 2016. But despite good reviews and attractive price points, the company never really cracked the smartphone market, selling just a fraction of the devices market leaders Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi move year after year.
According to data from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, Google remains a niche player in the smartphone market to this day, with less than five percent of smartphone users calling a Google device their own in all major markets.