Google Pixel to benefit from Samsung’s Note 7 brand damage, survey finds

Samsung is hoping to keep its customers with incentives, including a $100 credit for Note 7 owners who stick with a Samsung device as their replacement hardware. But carriers are leaving the door open for buyers to pick whatever kind of smartphone they want instead. A new survey conducted by e-commerce agency Branding Brand suggests that a decent number may end up moving to other brands, and Google’s new Pixel phones could get a sizeable early bump for its new premium approach to in-house designed hardware.

Of those surveyed, which include 1,000 Samsung smartphone owners (of any devices, not just the Note 7), has found that 40 percent of respondents won’t buy another device from the manufacturers, which represents a 6 percent increase in the number of buyers looking elsewhere compared to the first time Branding Brand ran this survey just after the first Note 7 recall.

Of that group, 8 percent of those planning a switch will buy a new Google Pixel (which wasn’t yet announced when the first survey was conducted), and 30 percent will switch to iPhone, with the remaining 62 percent saying they plan to go to another Android maker. Compared to the original survey, those considering iPhone dropped 4 percentage points, which means Pixel is looking like a legitimate premium competitor to some at least, alongside iPhone and Samsung’s top-tier hardware.

Pixel still represents a very small percentage of buyer choices in the survey, of course, but the fact that it’s tipping the scales at all already represents a kind of victory for Google and its marketing efforts around the device. I still don’t think Pixel will make a sizeable dent in the premium smartphone market this year, but Note 7 woes could help it make a stronger showing than it would have otherwise.