US Insights

Google's Pixel storms the smartphone market

Ross Tucker

Executive Editor Kantar US Insights

Mobile 01.11.2017 / 08:00

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Google's Pixel has made serious inroads after only six weeks on the market.

Google's Pixel is showing signs of being the standout holiday hit in the smartphone arena. 

According to the latest OS sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, the Pixel accounted for 1.3% of sales for the three months ending in November. That figure is even more impressive when you take into account that the Pixel wasn't widely available until October 20th.

Despite the Pixel's early strength, Android's smartphone OS share in the US fell for the sixth consecutive period. Android sales share declined to 55.3% during the three months ended in November compared with 60.4% during the same period a year ago.

Apple gained significant ground on Google in the US, with iOS market share for the three months ending in November rising to 43.5% compared with 37.1% in the same period a year ago. iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 6s were the three most popular smartphones in the US, claiming a 31.3% market share.

“Verizon booked nearly a quarter of all US smartphone sales during the Black Friday period, playing a vital role for all brands, including Apple and Samsung,” said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Buyers were motivated by Verizon’s promotions on both Apple and Samsung’s top phones, including offers of free iPhone 7, 7 Plus and Galaxy S7 phones after trade-in and purchase requirements were met.” 

Apple's challenges in the Chinese market are proving to be significant. iOS market share declined to 19.9% from 25.3% a year ago. 

“Nearly 80% of all smartphones sold in Urban China during the three months ending November 2016 were Android, as local brands continued to dominate the market,” said Tamsin Timpson, Strategic Insight Director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Asia. 

Google and Apple saw gains in Europe during the period. In Europe's five biggest markets -- Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- Android share rose to 72.4% from 70.6%, while iOS climbed to 24.6% from 21.8%.

“The holiday period is always strong for Apple, but it remains to be seen if demand for the latest devices will level out in the first quarter of 2017,” said Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe. 

Source: Kantar, Kantar Worldpanel

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