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Google captures 10% of premium smartphone segment in India with Pixel

According to Counterpoint Research, Google has captured a 10% share of the premium smartphone segment in India with the Pixel and Pixel XL. The premium smartphone segment is defined where the smartphone is priced over ₹30,000 ($440).

Google shipped 33,000 units of Pixel to India as of October end after launching earlier in the month, becoming the number 3 player for the month. However, per the report, Apple continues to maintain a clear lead in this segment with around 66 percent of the overall market share, followed by Samsung with around 23 percent share.

Google is aggressively trying to take advantage of the lack of competition in this segment and does not want to miss-out on the opportunities. The company is leaving no stones unturned with heavy spend on marketing, there are exchange and cashback offers also available for the new entrant. A refreshing and feature packed Pixel is making for a good proposition against the incumbents Apple’s new iPhone and Samsung’s [Galaxy] S7 smartphones.

Google has been running a 360 degrees advertorial campaign in major cities across India as well as heavy spends on digital and print. The company offered no-cost EMIs for buying Pixel devices from both online and offline stores, cashback for HDFC Bank card holders, as well as an exchange program and extra discount on Flipkart.

Of course, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco aided the numbers for Google. The expected launch of the device in October never happened, leaving a void in the market for other flagship smartphones.

We are very enthused by the feedback from Indian customers and the initial response for Pixel has been extremely positive and in line with our expectations. Pixel is Google’s take on the total user experience as we envision it — bringing the best of Google’s software, such as the Google Assistant, with hardware that really brings the experience to life.

– A Google spokesperson

Mind you, the report is based on units shipped, and not necessarily sold. The idle inventory with the retailers too is counted towards the number. However, with heavy spends on marketing and generally positive reviews all around, Google is likely to maintain the market share, if not extend it in the quarter.

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