Can Google rule super-competitive smartphone market with Pixel?

Tech giant Google, which has been a market leader in online search and other product categories for decades, is yet to cement its place in the global smartphone industry despite the popularity of the Google Pixel brand.

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) Tech giant Google, which has been a market leader in online search and other product categories for decades, is yet to cement its place in the global smartphone industry despite the popularity of the Google Pixel brand.

According to Statista Consumer Insights released in May, Google remains a niche player in the smartphone market, with less than five per cent of smartphone users calling a Google device their main phone in most major markets.

However, a recent report by Counterpoint Research showed that the Google smartphone market grew in Japan, making the brand number two in the country.

Google achieved 9 per cent of the market share in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, surpassing local brands to secure the second position after Apple, which has historically dominated the market with over 50 per cent share.

The recently launched Pixel 7a showed a 74 per cent increase in sales when compared to its predecessor.

According to industry experts, when it comes to India, the smartphone market offers significant headroom for growth in the country.

To succeed in this hypercompetitive market and win over demanding consumers requires an intricate dance between cutting-edge innovation and a deep understanding of the heartbeat of the market.

“Google’s upcoming Pixel phones are poised to build on the exceptional camera capabilities and seamless software experience of previous generation Pixel phones. If competitively priced and supported by aggressive go-to-market initiatives, the new Pixel phones have the potential to make significant strides in India,” Prabhu Ram, Head of Industry Intelligence Group, CMR, told IANS.

“With good after-sales support, they can carve a niche amid the demands of India’s discerning consumers. The strong premiumisation wave provides good tailwinds,” he added.

Google debuted the ‘Made by Google’ Pixel smartphones in 2016 globally, including India. In the coming years, it launched Pixel 2 series, and Pixel 3 series in the country.

In 2019, Google decided not to release the Pixel 4 and instead released the Pixel 3A in May of that year.

In 2021, Google launched the Pixel 6 series and last year launched the Pixel 7 series.

Now, Google is set to launch Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro devices globally on October 4. The Pixel 8 is expected to feature a 6.2-inch display, Tensor G3 processor, and 50MP+12MP rear camera set-up, while the Pixel 8 Pro may come with a large 6.7-inch display, Tensor G3 processor and feature a triple camera set-up with a 64MP and a 48MP ultra-wide-angle camera.

In Q4 2022, Google overtook Samsung to become the number two brand in the global smartwatch market, showing significant growth while competing with market leaders. Apple continued to lead and dominate the market globally, according to Canalys report.

(Shrey Srivastava can be reached at shrey.s@ians.in)

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