Japan Emerges As the Biggest Market for Google Pixel Smartphones in the World

Japan is now the biggest market for Google Pixel smartphones in the world. While Apple occupies the No. 1 spot in the country, Pixel smartphones are No. 2 with 67% of global Pixel smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2023 to Japan. According to Counterpoint Research, models such as the Pixel 6a, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro drove market sales in the country.

According to recent statistics, Google Pixel shipments to Japan is 34% in the first quarter of this year, up from only 10% the previous year. Conversely, the shipment of Pixel in the United States dropped from 51% to 31% within the same period – and while this does not indicate that sales dropped in the US, it shows that Japan is taking the lead.

Entire Western Europe also saw a decline in Pixel sales from 24% to 17%.

In Japan, the Pixel 7a accounted for the largest market share in Q1 2023 – higher than the Pixel 6a in their first three weeks of market penetration. The three largest cellular carriers in Japan – DOCOMO, SoftBank, and AU – embraced Pixel 7a while the Pixel 6a is only on two carriers. It must however be pointed out that Pixel 6a was the highest-selling model in Japan for seven consecutive months.

Analysts think that some of the outstanding features that gave the Pixel 7a a big push are its 8GB RAM, its upgraded Google Tensor 2 chipset, and its excellent camera.

Since its launch in 2016, 27.6 million Google Pixel phones have been shipped out to markets globally – far below what Apple, Motorola, and Samsung sell in one year. Interestingly enough, while Apple and now Pixel have managed to displace Sony in Japan, many locally dominant brands such as Kyocera, FCNT, and Balmuda have bowed out of the market – strengthening the positions of the usurpers.

“Moreover, news of the withdrawal of local brands such as Kyocera, FCNT, and Balmuda from the smartphone market indicates that Tier-1 Japanese OEMs will be limited to only Sony,” Counterpoint says. “This is expected to strengthen the market dominance of US brands like Apple and Google in Japan.”

This development suggests that Google may record higher sales for its Pixel smartphones if it shifted its focus away from North American and European Union markets – to Asia for instance.