Was Google Pixel Really More Popular Than iPhone 7 During Black Friday?

Google Pixel is hands down one of the best Android smartphones out there. The device registered impressive sales figures during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday shopping season. According to data from Localytics, Google Pixel sales jumped 112% during the Black Friday weekend compared to its average sales on the four previous weekends. By comparison, Apple’s iPhone 7 witnessed only a 13% spike in sales. Does that mean Google Pixel outsold the iPhone 7 during the crucial holiday shopping period?

google pixel and pixel xl compared to iphone 7 and iphone 7 plus
Image Source: Google/YouTube

Google Pixel registered the highest jump

Localytics collects data from more than 2.7 billion devices and about 37,000 apps and web apps. Its findings for the Black Friday weekend (Nov.24-Nov.28) sales are based on roughly 120 billion data points it processes monthly. The analytics firm found that Galaxy S7 sales jumped 36%, and 9.7-inch iPad Pro sales rose 24% compared to the normal rate.

iPhone 7 Thanksgiving weekend
Image source: Localytics

In terms of percentage growth, the iPhone 7’s 13% lags far behind 112% surge in the sales of Google Pixel. It led Fortune to conclude that Pixel “trounced” the latest iPhone during the holiday weekend. Furthermore, Localytics showed that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus had witnessed a 36% and 29% growth during the Black Friday weekend last year. The 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus sales jumped only 1%.

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Pixel doesn’t come even close to iPhone 7 in unit sales

It doesn’t mean Pixel won the holiday shopping game against the iPhones. Localytics just released percentage growth figures rather than exact sales numbers. Sales prior to the holiday weekend can significantly affect the weekend increase. For instance, analysts expect the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to sell 78 million units during the December quarter. In contrast, even the most optimistic projections for Pixel are in the range of 6 million to 9 million units in the same period.

In all likelihood, the iPhone 7 sold better than Google Pixel prior to the holiday shopping weekend. Therefore, a bigger percentage jump for Pixel does not mean it sold more units than the iPhone. Also, the iPhone 7 has been available for longer than Pixel and had sold out almost immediately. Pixel launched in October and Google started aggressive promotions only in mid-November.

Apple wasn’t offering promotions on iPhone 7

Pixel sales were also helped by Verizon’s steep discounts. According to Localytics, 46% of Google Pixel activations through the Black Friday weekend were Verizon models. The remaining 54% were purchased unlocked either from authorized retailers or directly from Google. In contrast, Apple wasn’t offering any promotions on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The best deal you could find on an iPhone 7 during the Black Friday weekend was a $49 discount from eBay.

According to a survey conducted by research firm Piper Jaffray, the latest iPhone was the most wanted gift this year. As many as 7.2% survey respondents said the iPhone was their most wanted gift. It was followed by MacBook (2.1%), the Xbox (1.4%) and Smartwatch (0.9%).