Google has sold approximately 1 million Pixel smartphones, according to Play Store downloads

The Galaxy S8, LG G6 and Google Pixel XL all next to one another

Google’s excellent Pixel smartphone has been with us for almost a year now.

Yet during that time Google hasn’t released official sales numbers. We simply don’t know how well the search giant’s first smartphone is doing. Compounding the issue is the fact that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, includes Pixel sales in the “Other Revenues” section of its financial earnings reports, which includes a whole host of other products.

Enter ArsTechnica, which has made a pretty good educated guess as to how many Pixels Google has sold.

By tracking the install numbers of an app that only Pixel users can have on their device — in this case, the Pixel Launcher — the website was able to discern that there are approximately 1 million Pixel devices out in the wild.

That number is an estimate at best because the Google Play Store doesn’t provide exact install numbers; instead, it groups app installs into numbered tiers like “100,000 – 500,000.” However, when an app crosses into an another threshold, like the Pixel Launcher did earlier this week when it broke into the “1,000,000 – 5,000,000” tier, it’s safe to say Google has sold close to 1 million Pixels.

Moreover, there’s a very direct correlation between the number of Pixel devices and Pixel Launcher installs because a) as mentioned above, the Pixel Launcher can only be installed on a Pixel or Pixel XL, b) each install only counts once per account (in terms of Google Play metrics, deleting an app or reinstalling does not effect the total number of installs) and c) Google does not count sideloaded apps against an app’s total install number.

To put that 1 million in perspective, Apple sells approximately 40 to 50 million iPhones each quarter and the Galaxy S8 quickly surpassed the five million sales mark shortly after release. In other words, Google still has a long way to go before it’s considered a top-tier smartphone OEM. Still, the company is off to a good start.