According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, Google Pixel phones have seen a sixfold increase in sales during the second quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. This astonishing growth has propelled Google’s market share in Japan to an impressive 12%.
However, the more striking revelation is the decline of Apple’s iPhone market share in the country, plummeting from a dominating 58% to a surprising 46%. This marks the first time in two years that Apple has seen its grip on the Japanese market slip below the 50% mark.
Industry experts attribute this remarkable shift to Google’s budget-friendly Pixel 6a and 7a series, which have resonated exceptionally well with Japanese consumers.
Anshel Sag, Principal Mobile Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, stated, "Japan is a huge success story for Google and the Pixel team. It appears that most of these devices are from the budget Pixel 6a and 7a series, which would likely mean that Google has successfully captured the middle of the Japanese smartphone market."
The current depreciation of Japan’s currency has made imported products, including smartphones, more expensive. Google’s Pixel phones, priced more competitively than Apple’s iPhones, have emerged as a cost-effective alternative for Japanese consumers. The diminishing availability of carrier subsidies in the region further enhances the appeal of Google’s budget-friendly offerings.
Google 6a And 7a Series
These are Google’s mid-range smartphones that offer some of the features of the flagship Pixel 6 and 7, but at a lower price.
The Pixel 6a was released on July 28, 2023, following pre-orders that started on July 21. It costs $449 / £399 / AU$749 for the single 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant. It has a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 12.2MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 4,385 mAh battery.
The Pixel 7a was unveiled on May 10, 2023, at the Google I/O event. It also costs $499 / £449 / AU$749 for the same configuration as the Pixel 6a. It has a similar design and display as the Pixel 6a, but with some upgrades in performance, cameras, and charging. It uses the Tensor G2 chip, which is Google’s own processor that powers the Pixel 7 series. It also has a 64MP main camera and a 13MP ultra-wide camera, and supports wireless charging.