According to new research from our smartphone-tracker service, Google Pixel was the fastest-growing major smartphone brand in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Google Pixel outgrew all its top-ten rivals, including Apple, Samsung and Motorola (Lenovo).
Total US smartphone shipments for the whole market decreased a woeful -23% YoY in Q4 2018, due to longer replacement rates and a lack of wow designs.
By contrast, Google Pixel bucked the downtrend and increased its US smartphone shipments by an impressive +43% YoY during the quarter.
Google’s Pixel 3 range benefited from weakness at Apple, Samsung, ZTE and others. Apple saw longer replacement rates, due to its battery-replacement program encouraging owners to hold on to existing iPhones for longer. Samsung struggled, due to soft sales of the flagship Galaxy S9 model. ZTE was shunned by authorities and carriers and demand for its smartphones collapsed.
Google Pixel 3 is starting to resonate with US consumers who are searching for something new, such as eSIM connectivity or AI. Google Pixel is starting to takeoff. Is Google Pixel the new iPhone?
What might Google do with the rumored Pixel 4 this year? Will Google push on and expand its portfolio of models and retail presence in the US? If Google significantly expands Pixel 4, existing Android partners, like LG or Samsung, will get upset. Google is clearly walking a Pixel tightrope.
Clients can read the full dataset and analysis for Google Pixel US smartphones here and here.
Exhibit 1: US Smartphone Shipments Growth YoY