The Google Pixel 3a has been a hit, since it was released in May. And now we're seeing from Counterpoint Research, that it was responsible for a 88-percent increase in smartphone shipments, year-over-year.
Counterpoint Research is comparing Q2 2019 to Q2 2018, so the numbers are a bit inflated here, seeing as Google didn't release a phone in Q2 2018, but did in Q2 2019. So naturally the numbers are going to be much higher.
Mid-range smartphones are still big volume sellers
The Pixel 3a has been a pretty popular device for Google since it was launched at Google I/O this past May. It's popular because it brings all of the Pixel features to a cheaper smartphone, and it also has better performance and battery life than the more expensive Pixel 3.
Google saw a 88-percent jump year-over-year, but it was not the biggest jump. OnePlus actually had a larger jump at 152-percent. Mainly because it launched two smartphones in Q2 2019 – the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. Instead of just a single smartphone.
Surprisingly Samsung, LG and ZTE all saw their sales drop in that quarter. For Samsung, it's not too surprising. The Galaxy S10 launched in the first quarter, and the Galaxy Note 10 is launching in the third quarter. So the second quarter did sport any big launches for the company.
Overall, sales dropped two-percent, across the industry.
What might be even more surprising is the top five smartphones that were sold in the second quarter.
Apple & Samsung still sold the most popular phones
The top three are all iPhones: iPhone XR, iPhone 8 and iPhone XS Max. That was followed by the Galaxy S10 Plus and Galaxy S10.
Despite Samsung dropping its sales percentage in the quarter, it still had two of the five most sold devices in the quarter. That just goes to show that having more models could mean more sales. Which is the case for Google.
It's also possible that with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL getting so many price cuts in the second quarter, that it helped Google move even more devices.
Leading up to the Pixel 3a announcement at Google I/O, just about every carrier and retailer was dropping the price of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. In fact, Google Fi had taken up to $500 off of the Pixel 3 XL. Making it a $499 device, which was very popular and impressive.
Google still has a pretty small market share though, particularly in the US. But seeing this big jump may tell Google that releasing an "a" series Pixel phone every year is the play.