Thursday, 11 April 2019 09:39

Pixel, OnePlus taking US users from Samsung, not Apple

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Pixel, OnePlus taking US users from Samsung, not Apple Image by Deepanker Verma from Pixabay

Samsung is losing users in the US to Pixel and OnePlus smartphones, the analyst firm Counterpoint Research claims, pointing out that more than a third of those who bought the Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T in the final quarter of 2018 were previous Samsung owners.

The company said its US Smartphone Churn Tracker showed that less than one in five who bought either a Pixel of a OnePlus was previously an iPhone user.

The Google Pixel accounted for 73% of Verizon's total sales in Q42018 while OnePlus made up 24% of T-Mobile's total sales.

But the Pixel 3 had not been effective in winning over a larger share of iPhone users while sales of the OnePlus 6T had fallen in Q12019 compared to the strong Q42018 start.

Counterpoint research director Jess Fieldhack commented: "“The newest Google Pixel line-up was certainly successful in terms of disrupting the premium market space at Verizon. Google invested a lot of marketing money during Q42018 resulting in strong sales of the Google Pixel 3 line-up.

previously used

"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.”

Regarding the OnePlus 6T, research analyst Maurice Klaehne said: “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.”

But Klaehne said sales had weaken for the device in the first quarter of 2019.

"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.”

Added Fieldhack: “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.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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