According to IDC, Google shipped 7.2 million Pixel smartphones in 2019. Which gives the company its best performance yet, since launching the Pixel brand for smartphones in 2016.
That is actually more than OnePlus shipped last year, but still pretty small in the grand scheme of things. Samsung ships more than that per device, rather than as a whole.
Pixel sales rose more than 50% in 2019
According to the IDC, Pixel sales rose more than 50% last year, coming in at 52% year-over-year. That's a big jump for Google. And there are a couple of factors that likely led to that jump.
The first being the Pixel 3a. It was highly praised, at its regular price of $399, but we did also see it drop pretty low during the holidays – as low as $249. Which made it super popular. And where the Pixel 4 only sold 2 million units in its first six months – which includes some of 2020 – it's unlikely that is the culprit here.
The other thing is that the Pixel finally stopped being exclusive to Verizon in 2019. Starting with the Pixel 3a, the Pixel was available at all four US carriers. Which doesn't sound like a big deal, but it likely helped Google sell a lot more units. With the Pixel 3a and Pixel 4 being available everywhere.
Mid-range is still an important market
While most of us prefer to hear about the flagship smartphones from Google, LG, Samsung and others, the mid-rangers are what people are buying. And this proves that.
LG has seen quite a bit of success with its K series and Stylo smartphones. Samsung has seen a lot of success with the Galaxy A range. And Motorola has had a lot of success with the Moto G range – in fact, it was only focusing on the Moto G for the past few years. Which are all smartphones under $400 for the most part.
Then you throw in the Pixel 3a, which is priced at $399 and has a lot of the same features as its flagship brother, but at less than half the price. It's a recipe for success.
Now, this is still a lot of speculation. Since Google does not release numbers for units sold when it comes to Pixels. IDC works with retailers and carriers to find out these numbers. So there is some good information here and it is likely fairly accurate, but not quite as accurate as it coming straight from Google's mouth.