Google Pixel 8 back standing upright

Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • Google Pixel phone shipments grew by over 500% in Japan compared to a year ago.
  • The brand narrowly missed out on claiming second place for the quarter.

It turns out that Google’s Pixel phones are growing in popularity in Japan. In fact, the brand reached second place for shipments in Q1 2023, according to Counterpoint Research.

It looks like Pixels are continuing to grow in the market, as the IDC’s Q4 2023 figures show that shipments grew by 527% compared to a year ago. In fact, Google was the only smartphone brand to grow during this quarter.

The IDC's Q2 2023 shipment figures for Japan.

This performance wasn’t enough for Google to hold on to second place in Japan, though, losing out to Sharp by the slimmest of margins. But it still marks a major market share increase, from 1.5% a year ago to 10.7%.

Counterpoint Research previously attributed the Pixel’s Q1 2023 growth in the market to increased carrier availability (from two networks to three). The tracking firm also noted at the time that several Japanese brands withdrew from the market, contributing to the Pixel line’s growth. So the combination of wider availability, home-grown brands falling by the wayside, and the Pixel 8 series launching during this quarter likely contributed to this latest round of strong growth.

We’re keen to see whether Google can translate its success in Japan to other markets or if this is merely a shorter-term boost due to unique circumstances. Either way, Google will need to expand to more countries if it wants to climb up the global shipment rankings.

[ For more curated Samsung, Google, Android news, check out the main news page here]

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