Since launching its Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones in early-October 2016, Google’s learned that real artists ship—the firm’s done a poor job at shipping its latest and greatest phones which received glowing reviews due to their excellent cameras, built-in Google Assistant and other nice features. The company may have grossly underestimated demand for the larger 5.5-inch Pixel XL models.

One visit to its online store is enough to realize Google is struggling to meet consumer demand for its iPhone 7 rival. Regardless of the color option, both 32GB and 128GB models of Pixel XL are currently out of stock at the Google online store, said The Verge.

Pixels are only offered in 32 and 128 gigabytes and the 128GB one hasn’t been in stock since November 30. Separately, AppleInsider learned from a source at Best Buy, which only sells 32GB Pixel models, that demand for Pixel isn’t a tenth of that for iPhone 7.

For the 128GB Pixel XL, Verizon’s online store is currently quoting shipping times in the second week of March. That model is also out of stock at the vast majority of Verizon’s physical stores. Black Pixel models won’t ship until February and white ones are due in March.

“We’re aware about the inventory issues on the Google Store and Verizon,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge. “Honestly, demand has exceeded our expectations. We’re doing our best to restock on an ongoing basis.”

In fairness, not many companies are able to match Apple’s worldwide distribution infrastructure and the ability to fill inventory across hundreds of carriers and thousands of retail partners. And even with Apple’s expertise in supply chain management, iPhone 7 Plus was pretty hard to come by in September and October (but not anymore).

Best Buy’s stock of Pixels is low, too.

“Demand for the Pixel isn’t a tenth of that for the iPhone 7, and we were close in our guesses,” a source within Best Buy’s corporate headquarters told AppleInsider. “But, we underestimated demand anyway.”

HTC-manufactured Pixels file as the first “Made by Google” smartphones.

Pre-loaded with Android 7.1 Nougat and Google Assistant, Pixels come in two sizes: five inches and 5.5 inches. Google claims these phones have “the highest rated smartphone camera ever” and reviews seem to support that. Other Pixel features include a strong battery that lasts all day, a fingerprint sensor embedded into the back shell which can be swiped to quickly access notifications, and more.


Google Pixel availability data via NowInStock.net’s online tracker.

Google hasn’t yet released official sales figures for the Pixel phones and neither has Verizon.

For what it’s worth, Pixels may have accounted for a Kantar Worldpanel-estimated 1.3 percent of smartphone sales in the U.S. during a three-month period ending in November 2016.

Apple might benefit from Google’s inventory issues, especially the nearly two-month wait for new Pixel XL orders as disappointed customers may turn their attention to competing devices like iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7.

Source: The Verge, AppleInsider

  • Rowan09

    No surprise, from memory it was the same with the Nexus devices. I’ve never seen one of these mythical devices and would like to play with one.

    • TechnoBuff

      Google frankly handles anything that is not Search as a pet project. With all the good reviews the phone has received, the lack of it will seemingly doom it as newer phones from other manufacturers will be released in a few months from now.
      As much as Apple is lagging behind in innovation lately.. they do some things exceedingly well than other OEM i.e customer experience and good supply chain management and that is part of the reason people keeps on buying Apple

      • Steve__S

        The first part of your post is right, but you miss the point regarding Apple. It’s easy to make cutting edge products with the latest innovations if you only have to ship a small quantity of them. If you have to produce and ship things in iPhone scale, you are limited to parts and processes that have better supply and are proven. Apple clearly makes the best devices that ship in large volumes. What the accomplish is remarkable given the constraints they have. That said, you’re right, it it’s not search, don’t expect Google to execute well.

      • TechnoBuff

        Honestly Google as a company has a lot of good ideas but their execution is so terrible. a lot of products are being discontinued.. I wont be surprised if in a couple of year from now, the Pixel phone is discontinued along with a bunch of new products like Duo and Allo,which are good products but has terrible execution and followthrough
        Even the new Google Home is not getting a lot of updates and support as expected

    • Benedict

      True.. not a single Nexus came in time and was constantly in stock in the first months. I am not surprised that Google messed it up again…

  • Gink Smokebacon

    If you ripping off something (in this case : design) from Apple. Why would you expect it to be sold better than the original? Do their CEO actually think “Oh! The only reason people buy iphone is because of the designs and nothing else. Not their iOS ecosystem , not their vastly populated and clean app store selection of great apps. If only we put android into a shell of an iphone. We could appeal to both of the demographic!” No wonder samsung won over them. They have actual people thinking on actual designs and idea (but not in safety & QC department, those were done by random interns)

    • Mike

      How is this Google phone ripping off the Apple design? It has both metal and plastic/glass on the back, no home button, headphone jack on the top and etc. Just because its metal and has those lines for cellular signal doesn’t mean its copying it. Also HTC M8.

      You can’t really compare OS’s since there’s more people running android and OS comes down to each person on what they want. The app stores are both the same. I’ve used both and I find all the main apps I need on both.

      • Docservlet

        “How is this Google phone ripping off the Apple design?” It’s a direct knock off. The bezel sizes and screen placement are almost identical.

        “You can’t really compare OS’s since there’s more people running android”
        A matter of price. OEMs the world over are shipping out cheap junk running Android.

      • Steve__S

        How can you look at both phones and not conclude that Google has ripped off the iPhone design. Essentially every review of the product even acknowledges this. Pretending this isn’t the case just make you look foolish.

      • Isaiah Comer

        So you’re saying they aren’t copying because the HTC M8 has the same thing? That makes no sense!

  • Xee

    Ordered a Google Pixel 128GB Black, the week before Xmas, with next day delivery. The phone is awesome and does a lot of what I wished Apple would do for years but probably will never do. My iPhone 6 Plus was great but my wife uses it now. I have lots of Apple devices, but I see this as the start of me moving gradually away from Apple in general. Hopefully Apple get their mojo back soon.

    • Docservlet

      Too much of a sacrifice of ecosystem. Android/Windows is a complete mess.

      Apple has plenty of mojo and great products.

    • Isaiah Comer

      Too bad it was only a 6. The 7 is a big improvement. Better than the Pixel

  • Gordon Lutz

    I’m sure glad I got mine when they first came out.
    Would really suck not being able to get one.

  • Benedict

    By now the new Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5 (2017) is a better offer for potential Pixel buyers I guess..

  • BH

    Despite the high demand for this phone there is no way it is worth the price they’re asking. Hopefully in the coming years Samsung gets back on track with their note series. Until then I’ll continue to use my Note 4, offering twice the utility of this phone.