Google's Pixel phones had their best quarter ever

The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro gave Google's smartphone business its best sales quarter yet.

David Imel for Engadget

Google's lineup of Pixel phones has usually been some of our favorite Android devices since the first Pixel arrived back in 2016 — but they've never been big sellers. While Google still doesn't compare with Apple and Samsung, the company says the Pixel just had its best sales quarter ever.

On the Alphabet earnings call today, CEO Sundar Pichai addressed the company's hardware performance. "In Q4, we set an all time quarterly sales record for Pixel," he said. "This came in spite of an extremely challenging supply chain environment." All of Google's competitors had similar issues, but it's reasonable to think the company could have sold more phones if not for the supply chain.

Specifically, Pichai noted that the Pixel 6 was proving to be popular with both customers and carrier partners. In our estimation, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are probably the best Pixel phones Google has released in years, and it seems that these sales records back that up. Unfortunately, Google doesn't break out sales figures, but it's hardly alone in that regard.

Pixel sales are lumped into a category simply called "other," which covers all Google hardware (among other things). Revenue from the "other" category improved 22 percent year-over-year, totaling $8.2 billion for the quarter. That's a small piece of Google's overall revenue — the company pulled in $75.3 billion in revenue overall in Q4 of last year, up 32 percent year-over-year. That speaks more to the health of the company's massive search ads business.

In other financial news, Alphabet is splitting its stock. It's a 20-for-1 split, which means one Alphabet share will soon count for 20 much cheaper shares. Given the company's stock price ended the day at $2,757.57, this split means the stock will be much more affordable. Apple and Google have split their stock before, but a 20-to-1 split is pretty unusual.

We're tuned into the Alphabet earnings call and will update this post with anything else we hear.

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