Study Shows Google’s Pixel Smartphone Isn’t Poaching a lot of iPhone Customers

Google has been launching new Pixel smartphones for quite some time on a yearly basis, and while the third-generation arrived late last year, it doesn’t look like a lot of iPhone customers are being swayed by what Google’s hardware division is releasing.

According to data put together by Counterpoint, Google’s Pixel smartphones, at least in the fourth quarter of 2018, are finding its customer base from the Android ecosystem, and not poaching iPhone customers. The same thing can be said for another popular Android manufacturer out there, OnePlus, who sees a majority of its customer base hopping off the Samsung bandwagon.

Specifically, Counterpoint shows that a whopping 51% of Google Pixel 3 owners came from Samsung in the last quarter of 2018. Compare that to the 18% of iPhone owners who switched to Google’s newest flagship smartphone. Motorola actually made the list, too, with 14% of owners switching to Google’s phone. 17% came from the “Other” category, which is still pulling out of the Android ecosystem.

“The newest Google Pixel lineup was certainly successful in terms of disrupting the premium market space at Verizon. Google invested a lot of marketing money during Q4 2018 resulting in strong sales of the Google Pixel 3 lineup. Over half of all new Pixel 3 owners came from Samsung. A total of 31% of Pixel 3 sales came from previous Samsung Galaxy S7 owners. The Pixel was built to lead Android innovation and be a device to sway the iOS base over to Android. Over 80% of volumes are coming from its Android partners. This is probably seen as a disappointment.”

Meanwhile, OnePlus is seeing a similar situation. The majority of its new owners from the fourth quarter of last year came from Samsung as well, with 37%. 16% of iPhone owners switched over to the OnePlus before the end of 2018, while 15% of new OnePlus 6T owners came from LG. 32% of OnePlus 6T buyers in the fourth quarter of last year fell into the “Other” category.

So, while Google is definitely making worthwhile smartphones, it appears that the majority of its customers are lateral moves — from one Android device to another. Google would love to sway more iPhone customers, sure, but we all know that Google is perfectly happy making sure that its search option is the standard one on iPhones so it can keep earning money from all those people not using Android phones.

Our Take

The Pixel lineup is meant to be the benchmark for Android devices going forward any given years, and this study may show that’s the case considering the majority of its user base is shifting away from another Android phone to join Team Pixel. However, Google wants more iPhone owners to join the family, too, so it will be interesting to see how things might change for its smartphone lineup to try and win them over.

[via The Verge; Counterpoint]