Pixel 6 pushes Google into UK top 5, but Samsung and Apple continue to rule

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Google has been criticized for its decision to limit the Pixel series to a handful of markets such as the US and Japan. But a new report shows that this approach is starting to pay off in at least one country: the UK.

The Pixel 6 line pushes Google into the UK’s top 5

Francisco Jeronimo of IDC reports Google will become the fifth largest smartphone brand in the UK by early 2022, marking the first time Google’s Pixel line has made it into the top 5. The company shipped 163,900 Pixel phones between January and March, enough to secure a 3.3% market share and a significant improvement from the 50,900 units sold in the first three months of 2021. Google is still at it. a relatively small player in the UK, but these results suggest that the Pixel line has finally found a winning formula. The Pixel 6 duo introduced a brand new design language coupled with a custom processor – Google Tensor. The launch was also supported by a massive marketing campaign, not to mention availability on all four major UK carriers: Vodafone, Three, O2, and EE.

Pixel shipments are likely to decline in the current quarter as Pixel 6 flagships get older, but demand should pick up in the summer months once the mid-range Pixel 6a will hit the market before the Pixel 7 will be launched in October.

The Apple-Samsung duopoly is strong in the UK

Leading Google in the UK market were Oppo and HMD Global (Nokia). The former shipped 205,900 units and had a share of 4.2%, while the latter was slightly ahead with 210,700 units and a share of 4.3%. Ultimately, however, the UK market is dominated by the Apple-Samsung duopoly. The two brands accounted for a combined market share of 80.3% in the first quarter of 2022, up from 75% at the start of 2021 thanks to Samsung’s strong performance. It is also noted that Samsung and Apple generated 89% of sales.

The South Korean manufacturer shipped 1.58 million smartphones in the UK, compared to 900,000 units. Performance was not detailed, although the Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 launches are believed to have played a significant role.

Apple, on the other hand, had a market share of 48.4%. That’s lower year-on-year, likely due to the iPhone 12’s delayed launch and demand. Nevertheless, total shipments rose to 2.4 million units as the overall UK market grew again in 2021 after a period of strict lockdowns.

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