For $400, one is able to buy some pretty remarkable mid-range devices, besides flagship killers such as the OnePlus 3(T) and ZTE Axon 7. With that in mind, the Nexus 6P would be much better off trying to attract buyers at a lower price point.
Given that the Google Pixel starts at $650 and goes all the way up to $870 for the 128GB Pixel XL, the Nexus 6P has a chance to boost its appeal by appearing a much more worthwhile deal next to its successors.
But it’s not going to do so effectively when the Nexus 5X starts at half its price. Just to make things clear, these prices are based on Google’s Project Fi service – third party deals may be cheaper or pricier, though the latter seems more frequently the case.
Anyway, the 5X currently goes for $200, which when sat right beside the 6P doesn’t make the larger of the two seem quite worthwhile. Google needs to drop its price, especially now that the former flagship is faced with several debilitating problems.
It has been reported that the Nexus 6P is being afflicted with a battery problem – courtesy of Android Nougat – that causes it to shut down at random moments. There’s even an issue where the phone freezes – also at random – which forces users to perform hard resets several times per day.
Lowering the phone’s price is not just a matter of winning over extra market share in the US, as that’s the job of the Pixel and Pixel XL. What those two phones can’t really do is win over buyers abroad, especially in lower income markets.
With such steep pricing, the opportunity cost for flagship buyers mulling between the Pixel, iPhone 7, and Samsung Galaxy S7 would be high, so of course they would pick the safer options from Apple or Samsung. In these markets, Google’s hope would be to win over consumers with its cheaper Nexus offerings.
And the Nexus 6P isn’t cheap enough, so Google hasn’t actually helped its case by keeping it at $400 through Project Fi. At that price point, the safer option for phone shoppers in Asian markets would be the aforementioned OnePlus 3 and ZTE Axon 7. Why? Because they’re phones catered specifically to the tastes of local buyers.
A massive opportunity is being presented for Google to expand its global reach and establish a more visible presence in the smartphone markets in more parts of the world. But to get them to open up, a good start would be to get the pricing of its products right.