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Image credit: Chris Velazco/Engadget

Pixel and OnePlus buyers typically switch from Samsung phones

Only a relatively small fraction of them are iPhone converts.

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Chris Velazco/Engadget

Who do you think is most likely to switch to value-for-money phones like the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T? Former iPhone users balking at iOS or top-tier pricing? No -- it's prior Samsung owners, according to a study. Counterpoint Research estimated that ex-Galaxy users represented 51 percent of Pixel 3 buyers and 37 percent of 6T customers in the fourth quarter of 2018. While there were iPhone converts, they were much smaller slices of the pie at 18 percent for the Pixel and 16 percent for the 6T.

Not surprisingly, many of those Samsung users (31 percent of all Pixel 3 buyers) were coming from the Galaxy S7, a device roughly two years old. Counterpoint also found that 14 percent of Pixel 3 buyers were coming from Motorola handsets, while 15 percent of OnePlus' shoppers previously used LG devices.

These aren't completely shocking figures. Both handsets are potentially better value for money than Samsung's phones, and in some ways are considered polar opposites -- they aren't saddled with as much software bloat, and typically enjoy timelier OS updates. Still, Counterpoint believes this could be a "disappointment," particularly to Google. The company has long positioned the Pixel line as an iPhone alternative, but 82 percent of its customers are already using Android. It's not so much expanding Android's reach as it is poaching sales from its own partners.

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