After launching another surprise Pixel 8 sale for US buyers last week, Google has now extended the promotion to buyers in the UK.
The Google UK Store has cut the price of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro by £150 ($189.44) and £100 ($126.29) respectively. This is a short-term offer that started on February 9 and will run for nine days till February 18.
This isn’t the first time Google has discounted both phones in the UK, or run a limited-time promotion. Last month, the company gave away £125 ($157.87) store credit vouchers to anyone who purchased a Pixel 8 directly from Google. In the US, discounts have been given on all the company’s current smartphone line-up, including the Pixel Fold.
Other devices are also on sale, with the Pixel Watch 2, Pixel Buds Pro, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel 7a all temporarily cheaper. In the US, Google is emailing referral codes to some Pixel owners. When that code is used by someone purchasing a Pixel 8, 8 Pro, or 7a, both parties get $50 in store credit.
Despite being one of the major Android smartphone makers that offers generous discounts on its products, these repeated, back-to-back sales are not normal for Google. Since October, the company has sent YouTube Premium subscribers high-value vouchers to use when purchasing a Pixel 8, raised its trade-in prices and given out $100 store credit coupons to random Google Photos users.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Google continues this throughout the year as it looks to gain market share from Samsung and Apple, which dominate smartphone sales. These ultra-aggressive pricing strategies can also be partly explained by other changes occurring in consumer behavior and how companies have responded to them.
Buyers tend to keep their phones for longer periods of time and in response, both Google and Samsung now offer seven years of Android updates and security patches for their latest flagship phones. To pay for that extra software support, companies like Google, Samsung, and Apple want these long-term users to purchase subscriptions to the many services they offer.
Google recently revamped YouTube Premium, while raising prices for older users who were on cheaper plans. The company has also run a promotion for its Play Pass subscription service. If you purchase any Pixel hardware you’ll be offered free trials for Fitbit Premium, Google One, and YouTube Premium.
Also, with the emergence of generic AI taking over more functions on smartphones, there is a distinct possibility for owners to pay subscriptions for certain AI features on their handsets. Samsung has indicated to do exactly that. For example, on the Google Store’s Pixel 8 landing page, “Google AI” is the first thing mentioned, so it’s clear what the main selling point – and potential revenue stream – of these devices will be in the near future.