With initial Pixel pre-orders exceeding expectations and promising activation numbers from Verizon, Google is on track to sell three million phones with revenues of $2 billion in 2016. The Morgan Stanley estimate comes as the Pixel reportedly captured 10% of the premium smartphone market in India.
Unsurprisingly, the 128GB Pixel XL has the largest gross profit margin at 25%, while the cheapest 32GB Pixel is at 22%. Morgan Stanley also estimates that, compared to the iPhone, the Pixel will be half as profitable. While Pixel is a good start for Google’s first attempt at making a smartphone, Apple made $28 billion in revenue from 45.5 million iPhones in the most recent quarter of 2016.
Morgan Stanley expects Google to sell 5-6 million Pixel and Pixel XL devices in 2017 to the tune of $3.8 billion in revenue. Google is also expected to make money from increased usage of services like Android Pay and mobile search.
Also in support of the bank estimate is data from Counterpoint Research that 33,000 units of the Pixel was shipped to India in October. As a result, Google captured 10% marketshare of India’s premium smartphone market, devices priced Rs 30,000 ($437.35) and above.
Google’s big gains were possibly due in part to Samsung’s Note 7 debacle, with the company’s marketshare falling to 23%. Apple captured the number one position at 66%. Additionally, Google benefitted from running a number of promotions, including cashback and exchange programs. The company also heavily advertised in newspapers, with billboards, and for the first time displays in large retail stores.