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The strange case of missing pixels 4 headsets



As you may have guessed, I can say more about Pixel 4, though both the test and the video are extensive. After John Gruber pointed out on Twitter that I had forgotten to mention that Google had put no USB-C headphones or an adapter in the Pixel 4 box in the test, I found that I There was a whole lot of thought about the fact that the whole weekend is in my head. (I've also updated the review.)

In the spirit of this newsletter, where it's a tradition to take a little thing and show how instructive it is to understand a big deal, I'll be with you for a while Headphones deal a bit.

Before the event where Google officially announced Pixel 4, I once again asked the perpetual question: is Google serious about hardware? The quality of the phone itself is only part of the answer. The other part is that Google has a real commitment to selling more of them.

There are many ways to demonstrate this commitment. The most obvious ̵

1; and the one I'm focusing on – is that a true marketing budget is required for Pixel 4, especially now that it's available on all four major vendors.

In addition, however, Google has done so. A very important job: make it easier for iPhone users to switch. It is very, very difficult to convince anyone. Whether you think it's due to the blocking of iMessage, the preference for the operating system, brand loyalty, or all the factors mentioned above, iPhone users typically stay on their platform. designed to appeal to iPhone users. It has the same system for unlocking faces (minus, you know, the problem with eyes closed). The 90 Hz screen brings the smoothness of iOS animation much closer. Android 10 has generously "loaned" the core of iOS gesture-based navigation mechanics. Hell, because it shares the quadratic camera hump, the thing looks like an iPhone.

But I do not think Google will go to great lengths to persuade iPhone owners to switch – it may not even push so hard did last year with its "Phone X" advertising campaign . Because if Google wanted to persuade iPhone owners to switch, it would require a small amount of pressure on the pixel's profit margin (even if it's negative at first) to make it easier.

If Google was really serious about iPhone users who wanted to change, they would have had USB-C headphones and an adapter in their box.

If you have not heard, Google does not have USB-C headphones or a USB-C-to-3.5mm dongle in the box containing Pixel 4. (In France and Australia, there are no Acts apparently headphones in the box.)

It seems to me to be a stupid corner to cut them, because iPhone owners are less likely than Android owners to use a USB-C dongle or a USB-C headset. When I asked Google why, a spokesperson emailed me:

Most of our customers are already using their personal audio accessories. We also offer a $ 100 promo credit for shopping on the Google Store so customers can get the accessories they want.

(This promo credit ends by the way, October 26th.)

Google is probably right that most people buy the Pixel 4 already has Bluetooth headphones, but that's not the point. A replacement headset with a cable is, in my opinion, still essential, and it is practically punishable if Google does not involve it.

What are the chances that retailers warn potential converters that they also need headphones? And how do potential converters feel when they open the box and find that there are no headphones in the box – unlike any other phone? As a first experience with Pixel 4, the double hit of losing iMessage and not having an easy way to listen to music does not seem to be ideal.

I am not against the idea of ​​not including accessories. In fact, I'm looking forward to the day when we do not expect to have power supplies in the box because everything is powered by USB-C and we all have plenty of it. But in 2019, the lack of headphones in the box feels like a cut-off corner.

The feeling that Google is cutting corners is a problem that goes beyond headphones. If you look at a portion of the Android Web this week, you'll find that much of the community has already come to Pixel 4. There is a concern that the small memory and the short battery of the Pixel 4 are not good compared to the competition as the OnePlus 7T.

The price-performance ratio will not only interest Android fans. An iPhone 11 with 128 GB of memory and much longer battery life costs $ 749.

I think I understand why Google set the price for Pixel 4 like this. It's the first unlocked face pixel, a 90 Hz screen, and a radar chip. None of it is free. In addition, it is perfectly fair for a company to charge a premium for a product that includes a premium camera and a better software experience.

These are all reasons why I did not find the pixel too hard for its price. (I'm also aware that Google has regularly reduced all previous flagship pixels and is expecting it to do so for Pixel 4.) So I'm not saying that Google should lower the price for the pixel, because that's not the case. & # 39; No headphones in the box.

Instead, I suggest that omitting the headphones from the box is a tacit admission that Google does not really think will cause iPhone owners to switch. It is aimed instead at other Android users, users who have probably been using USB-C for a while with their cell phones.

I think that's a missed opportunity. I do not know that Pixel 4 could have gotten many iPhone switches this year – especially since Apple has caught up with camera quality with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. But I know that Google has to try to get it sometime.

I'm probably wondering exactly what it means for Google to omit the headphones from the Pixel 4 box. But the more I think about it, the more I think Google did not think hard enough about deciding whether or not to get it.


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