Google Pixel starts to challenge Samsung in UK Android market

The UK Android smartphone market is dominated by Samsung, but its OS partner is starting to pose a serious threat, according to new research.

The numbers come from analyst firm Strategy Analytics, which has been looking into the specific Android models that sell best over here. As you can see from the table below covering Q4 2019 Samsung models, specifically the flagship S series and the cheaper A series, dominate. But for the first time Google is starting to look like a serious player in terms UK smartphone shipment volume.

“Pushing into the UK top-ten is Google Pixel 4 XL in 8th place,” said Juha Winter of SA. “Google Pixel 4 XL is proving popular in the UK due to its decent specs, big-enough screen, solid retail support from major carriers like EE, and heavy marketing promotion leading up to the Xmas shopping season. Google Pixel has also filled some of the gap left by Huawei, whose UK presence is shrinking due to ongoing US trade wars.”

“Among the Android segment, Samsung took 8 of the top 10 spots in the UK in the fourth quarter,” said Neil Mawston of SA. “Google Pixel grabbed one, and Huawei also captured one. Samsung Galaxy A70 is the UK’s no.1 bestselling Android smartphone model. It is surprising to see a midrange model at the summit of the charts.

“The A70 is a sign that some UK consumers are trading down to lower-priced devices with ‘good enough’ specs and techs. Samsung S10 is in 2nd place, and S10+ sits in 4th place. Premium smartphone models are still selling well, but less so than a few years ago.”

The overall leading models will still be Apple ones, but a reason for that is that there are so few of them. That may also be a factor in the rise of the Pixel, but it’s still intriguing to see Google’s own efforts getting some serious traction. Another probable source of appeal will be the clean user interface and the fact that Pixels get Android updates before everyone else.

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