Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T Sales Driven by Previous Samsung Owners in Q4 2018

Both the devices have failed to swing iOS users over to Android. Over 80% of Pixel 3’s volumes are coming from previous Android smartphone owners.

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April 4, 2019

Over one-third of consumers who bought the Google Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 6T, during Q4 2018, were previous Samsung owners, according to Counterpoint Research’s US Smartphone Churn Tracker. Less than one in five people who bought either device was a previous Apple user. In Q4 2018, Google Pixel accounted for 7.3% of Verizon’s total sales while the OnePlus 6T made up 2.4% of T-Mobile’s total sales. Each device signaled an appetite for more diversity in premium device product line-ups from consumers.

Despite the initial sales success, the Pixel 3 series has been ineffective in converting a larger share of iPhone users to Android. Conversely, 6T sales have been down Q1 2019 in spite of the strong Q4 2018 start.

 

Smartphone Churn Tracker Q4 2018Source: Counterpoint Research – Smartphone Churn Tracker Q4 2018

Speaking about the Pixel smartphones, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director at Counterpoint Research said, “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.”

Elaborating on the OnePlus 6T, Maurice Klaehne, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research added, “The OnePlus brand has been a great disrupter in the industry and is a well-known brand for many tech enthusiasts. Starting with the OnePlus One, the brand has promised consumers solid performance for a lower price than the available Samsung and Apple flagships. When the 6T was announced for T-Mobile, at a sub-US$600 price point, consumers flocked to the device. Many users upgraded their older Samsung J2 Prime and Galaxy S7 phones. In addition, over 70% of previous Apple users had an iPhone 7, iPhone 6, or older. Consumers who have older devices are looking for alternatives to the flagships that cost more than US$800 currently offered.”

Klaehne continued, “However, in Q1 2019 we are seeing sales weaken for the device. What made the initial launch of the 6T so successful was the OnePlus brand image. It appealed to tech enthusiasts and a wider general market of consumers who read reviews for the best performance to price comparison. We do not believe the OnePlus 6T will continue to grow in market share in the current sales mix. There is little marketing money spent by the OEM and older Apple and Samsung flagships have been discounted to make a similar value offer which most consumers will gravitate towards.”

Lastly, Fieldhack added, “Both the Pixel and 6T devices show that there is room to innovate in the market. While Samsung and Apple are dwarfing others in size, marketing spends, and consumer perception, there are pockets of users that are still interested in alternatives. OEMs looking to disrupt carrier channels can learn from the successes and failures of these two examples. With 5G at our doorstep, there are additional opportunities to stand out in the market and make a compelling value offering for consumers.”

This is an excerpt from our smartphone churn tracker service across different geographies providing highly detailed insights and analysis – answering the why, backed by a solid granular sales database mapped across different carrier channels.

Background:

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in detailed industry analysis of the TMT sectors. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of over 15 years in high tech industries.

Analyst Contacts:

Jeff Fieldhack

+1 858 603 2703

[email protected]

Maurice Klaehne

+1 917 679 4038

[email protected]

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