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Roses are red, we've received about fifty. Google's next trick? Pixels for the thrifty

Cheap Google mobes this year, at least according to Nikkei

Long-rumoured cheaper Google phones will make their debut this year, according to Nikkei, which claims to have an idea of how much (or how little) they'll cost.

"Midrange to high-end phones are priced at between $150 and $700, while low end models sell for less than $150," the news service suggested.

Sales are intended to expand the brand into emerging markets.

Google has sold own-brand phones for many years, promising regular updates, good imaging and a bloat-free experience on its Nexus line. But the change to the Pixel brand in October 2016 was accompanied by a lavish promotional push. Thanks to HDR+ computational techniques, the Pixel camera is now widely acknowledged as the best on the market in most situations.

The company snapped up 2,000 HTC engineers to help the expansion.

But those devices don't come cheap. Prices start at £739 for the vanilla Pixel 3 (non-expandable, like the iPhone), rising to £969 for a fully tricked-out 128GB Pixel 3 XL.

Early sales have been less than stellar – IDC reckoned it shifted 3.44 million first-gen Pixel phones, and 3.47 million second-gen devices. By contrast, Samsung shifted over 30 million Galaxy S9 flagships. Pixel adopters have also been plagued by bugs.

A more encouraging data point came from Strategy Analytics this week, suggesting an uplift of 43 per cent year-on-year in Q4 2018.

Nikkei also suggested Google wants to expand its consumer offering – an annual story, like Santa getting stuck in the chimney. ®

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