Looking back at early 2016, who would have thought back then that Google is going to ditch the Nexus line and take a more hands-on approach with smartphones while Samsung's Galaxy brand is taking a huge hit? Samsung was posting great profits and getting ready to release the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge while Google wasn't showing any signs of being a major player in the smartphone hardware market anytime soon. Yes, we all love our Nexus devices but it's not like they were ever hugely popular among the general public. In fact, selling crazy amounts of units was never the main goal of the Nexus program as Google was mostly trying to highlight what was possible with the Android system, not seriously compete with OEMs.
Well, times change and Google changes with them. The tech giant is currently in the midst of placing a huge, long-term bet on hardware and the upcoming Google Pixel and Pixel XL flagships are an important part of that endeavor. Soon enough, the smartphone market will be that much more diverse and offer even more options to consumers than it already does. While Google already stated that it has no intention to stop assisting Android OEMs, the Mountain View-based company also doesn't shy away from healthy competition. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are launching in a week, they're heavily marketed, relatively rich with features, and are definitely expected to win some market share. The only question is - win it from whom?
If the e-commerce company Branding Brand is to be believed, the answer is - Samsung. The said firm just conducted a survey and concluded that about 8% of all owners of Samsung phones in the US are planning to buy one of the two upcoming Pixel devices due to the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco. While that percentage isn't huge, it also isn't insignificant considering Samsung's sizable market share in the US. Branding Brand categorically asserts that the said change of heart was primarily prompted by the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 ordeal which heavily damaged the Galaxy brand in the US. While these findings are certainly good news for Google, it's worth noting that the research firm's representative sample of consumers encompassed only 1000 American owners of Samsung phones. Naturally, that's still way too little to serve as a basis for any definitive conclusions.