Google: Are Stress Cracks Appearing?

June 9, 2019

I thought briefly about doing an item about the clown car YouTube. Instead I will focus on stress cracks evident from Google’s more aggressive marketing. Google may be implying that Apple’s iPhone is overpriced. The price angle is important because Google is pushing one of its devices as a great deal.

What difference does a little letter “i” make? Not much in one recent ad campaign, because it can be considered implied. “Google Rips iPhone for Being a Rip-Off,” reports ZDNet. Writer Chris Matyszczyk noticed that Google’s ads had been comparing their Pixel 3a, at $399, to “Phone X,” priced at $999—the same cost as a 64GB iPhone X, as it happens. However, he insists, this is about as accurate as comparing a Mini to an Audi A8. The write-up observes:

“In essence, then, Google wants you to believe that its 3a is just as good as an iPhone that’ll cost you more than twice as much. … I don’t dispute for a nanosecond that the Pixel 3a isn’t a very fine phone. Some might say, though, that its specs might bring it closer to an iPhone SE than an iPhone XR. If you buy a 3a, you’ll make so with a single camera for your selfies — the shame of it. You’ll also have a far slower processor. Oh, and you won’t be able to drop it down the toilet or in the swimming pool without ruining it. One more thing. Your wireless charging joy will be extinguished.”

Still, Matyszczyk concedes Google may have a point to make about inflated phone prices. Few people are prepared to pay a grand for their phone, so Android will benefit if Apple is painted as a brand for elites. The author wonders, though, whether some buyers will be disappointed in their Pixel 3a’s in the end.

The importance of this tiny stress crack is significant. Google and its approach to management are now dipping into the textbooks which explain how to sell commodities. Perhaps the methods of used car sales people will have more utility as Google wobbles forward, burdened by regulators, employee pushback, and the emissions of the Bezos bulldozer powering through the advertising landscape.

My goodness. Google is marketing the old fashioned way.

Cynthia Murrell, June 9, 2019


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