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iPhone is losing popularity in major market while Pixel is thriving

The affordability of the Pixel 6a and 7a may be one of the main reasons sales have gone up.

Published onSeptember 28, 2023

Apple iPhone 15 Pro vs Google Pixel 7 Pro cameras
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Sales of Pixel phones shot up sixfold in Q2 2023, increasing its market share in Japan to 12%.
  • The iPhone’s market share in Japan dropped by 12% in the same period.
  • It appears the Pixel 6a and 7a have really caught on in the country due to their affordability.

Google will launch the Pixel 8 series in the coming days. While October 4 will surely be a day for celebration for the tech giant, it looks like the company already has a reason to celebrate right now. Pixel phone sales are surging in a major market, and it happens to simultaneously be stealing that market share from its biggest competitor.

The third biggest economy in the world — Japan — appears to be warming up to the Pixel. Sales of Pixel phones have reportedly increased sixfold in the second quarter of 2023 compared to last year, according to findings from Counterpoint Research that Bloomberg published.

The jump in sales has bumped Google’s market share in the country up to 12%. At the same time, the iPhone’s market share has plummeted from 58% to 46% during the same period. This marks the first time in the last two years Apple’s grip over the Japanese market has fallen below 50%.

It looks like Google can thank the Pixel 6a and 7a — some of the best budget phones out there — for its success in the country. Anshel Sag, Moor Insights & Strategy’s principal mobile analyst states:

Japan is a huge success story for Google and the Pixel team. It appears that most of these devices are from the budget Pixel 6a and 7a series, which would likely mean that Google has successfully captured the middle of the Japanese smartphone market.

At the moment, the value of Japan’s currency is waning. As a result, products like smartphones are becoming more expensive. It’s believed that this could be one of the main reasons behind the shift as iPhones are more expensive than Google’s handsets. And it doesn’t exactly help that there are fewer carrier subsidies in the area.

Research firm Canalys also recently published findings on market share, but for the US. Its results showed that although Apple and Samsung still lead the pack, Google was the only company to have positive shipment growth compared to last year.

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