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Google Pixel has stolen Apple iPhone’s market share in Japan by up to 12% during the June quarter. According to Counterpoint Research (via Bloomberg), the current status of the yen and the pricing between the two brands are the biggest factors influencing this.

The report follows Google’s success in the Asian country in the first quarter of 2023, when it became its top Android smartphone brand. Surprisingly, this led to the search giant consuming a portion of the iPhone’s market share in the Japanese market. According to the firm, Pixel obtained a 12% share in the June quarter, which was six times its total share last year. iPhone’s share, meanwhile, dropped from 58% to 46% during the same period.

Counterpoint explained that while it is true that the growing smartphone options in the Japanese market could be a factor in this change, the biggest element that affected it is the weak yen, which apparently benefits Google.

Seoul-based Counterpoint analyst Tom Kang explained that since Pixel is only offered in select markets, the drop in the value of Japan’s currency makes Google Pixel more financially attractive for consumers outside the country. In June, Counterpoint reported that the mid-range Pixel 6a and flagship Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro sales greatly contributed to Google’s global shipment Q1 2023 growth, which reached 67% YoY.

“Japan is becoming the trans-shipment hub for Google Pixel devices,” said Kang. “So the iPhone is suffering from a weak yen and Google is benefiting from it. Price is becoming an important factor. Loyalty for Apple and iOS is much higher than Android, I’d say. But Android devices always have the price advantage.”

It is unknown how long this success will last for Google, but it will be a challenging journey for Apple to regain the shares it lost. And with Google set to announce the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro on October 4, it is certain that the recent iPhone price hike in Japan isn’t giving Apple any favor in this competition.


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