Banner ads showcasing Google’s new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL handsets pit them against Apple’s iPhone X series devices.
The banner ads, which are appearing on a number of billboards around the U.S., contrast the $999 price of the iPhone XS to the significantly cheaper $399 for the Pixel 3a.
Comparing the iPhone XS to the Pixel 3a is slightly disingenuous. As we wrote recently, it’s closer to the iPhone SE than the top-end iPhones. The Pixel 3a is similar in looks to the Pixel 3 that debuted last year. However, it is built with the price-conscious consumer in mind.
It made its debut at the recent Google I/O conference.
Apple the luxury company
The new ads serve to position Apple as the elitist, overpriced handset maker, compared to Google’s more egalitarian approach. Somewhat confusingly, while it refers to the iPhone X, its price references the newer iPhone XS.
This mirrors a recent stance taken by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a New York Times op-ed. Pichai was responding to previous criticism from Tim Cook. In turn, he blasted companies which sell privacy as a “luxury good.”
In essence, it’s the same swipe taken against Apple by many competitors, which refer to a so-called Apple tax.
Google’s not the first tech giant to take out ads lambasting Apple products. Everyone from Samsung to Huawei have taken their shots in the past. Whether this ad will help sway new customers in the direction of the Pixel 3a series remains to be seen.