The customizable lockscreen of the Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • New sales figures reveal that Google Pixel’s market share is nearing 5% in the US.
  • This is despite an overall drop in sales of almost 14%.
  • Google was the only major Android device manufacturer to grow market share in the US in 2023.

While Google’s Pixel devices are consistently among the best Android phones available, they have struggled to compete with Apple and Samsung for market share. However, a new report suggests that Google’s perseverance might be beginning to pay off.

We’ve previously noted how Pixel phones represented 3% of phones shipped in Q4 of 2023, building on impressive growth from previous generations of the Pixel range. Now, new figures indicate that despite a challenging market, Google has continued to grow its market share in the US.

The figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) (via 9to5 Google) tell us that in 2023, Google Pixel devices claimed 4.6% of the US market. This is an increase from 3.6% in 2022, which means that Google now has the fourth largest market share in the country. 

This comes despite what is a challenging market. In 2023, overall phone shipments were down 6.9% to 130.6 million. Google sold 13.6% fewer devices than in 2022, while Samsung – currently second in market share – saw a decline of 19% over the same period. In fact, of all the major phone manufacturers, Google was the only Android brand to increase its market share. At the same time, Apple was the only other company to grow its already dominant position, from 47.6% to 51.9%.

Pie chart showing market share for mobile phones in the US in 2023

(Image credit: IDC)

Google appears to be doing particularly well in unlocked handset sales, for which it accounts for 9% of total sales. This compares with Lenovo at 34%, Samsung at 20%, and Apple at 19%. But despite these encouraging figures, it’s clear that Google still has a long way to go to compete with Apple and Samsung.

According to Anthony Scarsella, Research Director at IDC, “Apple and Samsung continue strengthening their hold on the US smartphone market, with the two vendors combining for 74.2% of the market. This represents an all-time high market share for the two vendors.”

In other words, Google should be encouraged by the growth in its market share. But, the fact it saw a significant drop in total phone sales, coupled with Apple’s growth when they are already so dominant, means Google still has plenty of work to do in order to close that gap. There are some reasons for optimism, however.

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Firstly, a major Google Pixel 8a leak suggests that Google’s more affordable phone may be almost as good as the Pixel 8. This could make it a compelling option for budget-conscious shoppers looking for a new device. Google also enjoyed significant growth in its market share in Japan in 2023, making it the third largest brand in that market, and the only one to grow its market share over that period. And finally, the anticipated release of the Pixel 9 later this year could well see Google continue its upward trajectory. 

Steven Shaw is a full-time freelancer, but before he changed his career at the start of 2021, he was in the retail industry, leading teams to achieve goals in selling technology products, such as smartphones, tablets, and more. Graduating from the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Medieval History, he’s always had a passion for the topic, alongside technology and many Simpsons quotes.

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