Galaxy S5 sales losing steam against iPhone, market research suggests

by: Bogdan PetrovanJuly 16, 2014

galaxy s5 vs iphone 5s aa (4 of 14)

Back in May, Samsung announced that the Galaxy S5 had the best debut ever, outpacing the S4 by ten percent in the first month of availability.

On closer examination, however, Samsung’s performance turned out to be less impressive. The general smartphone market had grown substantially year-on-year, and the Galaxy S5 enjoyed a much wider rollout than its predecessor, including a fast launch with the top US carriers. In other words, the 10 percent increase over the Galaxy S4 was actually mediocre.

Samsung’s poor guidance for Q2 confirmed that the Galaxy S engine was misfiring and now market research from Counterpoint gives us an idea about the magnitude of Samsung’s problem.

Counterpoint conducted research about actual consumer sales (sell-through, as opposed to sell-in, the figure that Samsung reports) in 35 countries, making up 90 percent of global sales.

As per the research, the eight-month old iPhone 5S significantly outpaced the Galaxy S5 in May 2014, the second full month of availability for Samsung’s flagship.

Apple managed to sell 7 million iPhone 5S units, compared to 5 million Galaxy S5’s. By comparison, stated Counterpoint’s researchers, the Galaxy S4 tied the iPhone 5 last year with 7 million units sold.

According to Tom Kang, a Seoul-based analyst with Counterpoint cited by Reuters, Galaxy S5 sales in June likely remained at 5 million.

Here are the top 10 selling smartphones in May 2014, according to the research report:

  • Apple iPhone 5s
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Note 3
  • Apple iPhone 5c
  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
  • Xiaomi Hongmi Redrice
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

In its Q2 forecast, Samsung noted that inventory issues and strong competition at the low-end, and especially in China, contributed to the dipping revenue. But, if Counterpoint’s research is accurate, it seems that Samsung should be more worried about the fading appeal of the Galaxy S5, its biggest cash cow.

Apple is widely expected to release iPhone versions with bigger displays this fall, a move that will eliminate one of the biggest advantages that Samsung flagships have had so far.

Of course, Samsung isn’t sitting idle. The company is rumored to launch the Galaxy Alpha by the end of the summer, a new high-end device made of metal, along the Note 4, the company’s traditional autumn release.

  • Lisandro O Oocks

    Where’s June data to confirm all these?

  • More surprising of all is the presence of the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 in the top 10

  • Pedro

    I wonder why……

  • MasterMuffin

    No wonder. S5 is a good phone, but it just isn’t good enough to make that many people upgrade or choose it over S4 which is now much cheaper. Though TW needs a refresh, most customers care about the outer look more and that needs a big refresh!

    • _X_

      Same can be said about all of the new phones. The HTC, Sony, even the LG!
      Smartphones need a new direction. Most will use the same processors. The real
      winner in the smartphone market will be the manufacturer who reinvents the
      smartphone! Improving the processors, screens and cameras are becoming gimmicky
      features as it only improves a little and not a lot to be classified as groundbreaking!!
      We all know that 4K screens are coming and even 8K, but is it really groundbreaking?
      NO, the new clear displays or flexible displays will be groundbreaking but it
      will take years hence we are stuck with phones that will be similar with each
      new update!

      • MasterMuffin

        I’m really looking forward to LG G Flex 2, if they would make it their Note competitor and give us a GPE, I would consider buying it

      • Atlas

        A fingerprint sensor that is super fast and reliable. That’s innovative.

      • Mike Reid

        S5 is not too popular with the ROM’ing crowd, due to Knox and related locking issues.

        AFAICT, HTC One M8 is “stomping” GS5 as far as popularity/numbers of posts on XDA. It helps that holes have been found to bust into M8’s though.

        • iKrontologist

          Apparently you fools aren’t aware that KNOX is coming to all Android phones in “L” v5! haha…. better play while you can buddy! Cause every enterprise, government and even military agency is jumping on Android for BYOD. Since Apple still has no separate logins for both personal and enterprise use. Plus even they don’t want to get spied on by Apple and their backdoor buddies!

          Every XDA mod I’ve used has backdoors too. So since FBI are buying 26,500 KNOX Licenses for their own use, that’s telling me that makes more secure for them too. Even Government agencies don’t want other branches of government spying on them in a Spy vs Spy scenario! ;-P ….so why should I open myself up to XDA Spies? No Thanks! Because with the complete KNOX Suite I know I’ll be more secure and safer with Enterprise Level SAFE Software!

  • WestFiasco

    That image at the top is perfect.

    • Atlas

      Yep, the Galaxy is so ugly it’s shocking! The touch sensitive surfaces are even visible under the glass, that’s terrible!

  • Fabian Taveras

    What about June’s sales?

  • Blowntoaster

    what are the combined sales of the S5, S4 and Note 3 though? Samsung sells so many different phones, you have to combine the sales, not look and only one or two main devices.

    It’s all down to market saturation, improving competition etc. the S4 is still good enough yet cheap enough to consider over the S5. most S5 buyers will be contract upgrades, S2/S3 and other older device users finally upgrading.

  • monkey god

    If the Galaxy 5 was made by Apple, it would be called the Galaxy 4S – merely a placeholder phone until the true successor to the S4 comes out.

    • Atlas

      Except each iPhone sold better than the one that came before it.

  • allthingsconsidered

    Anyone think about considering price? The iPhones have all undergone significant carrier price cuts in the past few months, while the GSS is still being sold for its original $199 with 2yr contract. As with most phones, that price will likely drop once its novelty wears off and the carriers inventory becomes an issue. I wouldn’t be shocked to see these statistics flip back and fourth until the iP6 is released.

    • titoone

      That’s very true.

    • Tommy

      iPhone 5S is 200 from ATT. Along with the S5.
      The 5S and S5 are both 100 from Verizon.

      Looks pretty even field but some places may vary.

  • jakes

    Not only June but april as well why hidden? Hmm. Also 35 countries they say and what exactly are they and how do they prove it’s 90 percent? So many holes in the data when the s5 was sold in more than 120 countries

  • titoone

    Why in the world would you want a crappie product? Expandle storage, removable battery, better camera, high rez screen and bigger screen? Galaxy s5 for the win. After sideloading Google launcher, the s5 is buttery smooth.

    • Atlas

      “After sideloading Google launcher”
      People shouldn’t have to bother with that.

      • titoone

        Well then stick with your crapple product, people like myself enjoy tinkering with phones. Android isn’t for everyone and so isn’t apple products.

        • Atlas

          Typical answer. I give an argument for the unfriendliness of Touchwiz and the struggle people have to go through to enjoy the product they just bought, and your answer is “stick with your crapple”. MY crApple at least JUST WORKS when I turn it on the first time. I love tinkering too, but people like ourselves are a minority. My argument is precisely that if Apple isn’t for everyone, Android is for even less people. Google knows that, that’s why they are simplifying Android. They even removed lock-screen widgets!

          • titoone

            Your argument is just as generic, that Android is just to complicated. That’s false Android is much more customizable and much more personal. TouchWiz with its flaws has come a long way, although I do agree often times it’s an over kill but the phone does so much more.

          • titoone

            Like i was making the argument expandable storage, removable battery and bigger screen (which might be arguable in the near future) is a win for many people.

          • Atlas

            Untrue, and you showed it yourself in your first post, but apparently I need to spell it out for you so that you understand :
            If you need to load a new OS in a phone you just bought to make it run smoothly, there is something wrong with it.

          • titoone

            I give you that Atlas, you shouldn’t have to. I think Android L is fixing this.

          • Atlas

            L looks great! But I doubt Samsung will resist changing it once more.

    • Karly Johnston

      Now launcher isn’t supported on GS5 and full of bugs.

  • Balvinder Makkar

    Xiaomi will be the next big thing in the android world very soon.
    Then it will be intersting to see xiaomi vs apple..:-P

    • Anonymousfella

      Let them add a micro sd card slot first…

      • Balvinder Makkar

        Haha right…except mi3 all other xiaomi phones have a slot…hope they include this time in mi4.

  • alfreduran

    Hi! The Samsung GalaSHIT F, looks like a SGS5, but with metallic imitation, terrible. LG, HTC, Xiaomi, Nexus, Sony and iPhone, kick his ass, please!

    • Jerry Rich

      Another troll

      • alfreduran

        Baboso desorbitado!

  • Felipe Souza

    Maybe there’s some kind of “osborne effect” due to the floating rumors of a new flagship Galaxy S5 prime or whatever its name will be.

  • jiuck

    They just made a shitty S5 and now they’re paying the consecuences. It’s almost exactly the same than a S4 but more expensive. I would never buy a S5

    • Jerry Rich


  • John Doe

    Interesting that there are no HTC or LG… etc phones in that top 10 list ..

  • Sequoia46.2

    People’s iPhone 4s are crapping out and they’re getting the 5s… or they’re rushing to get some of the last compact phones out there before every single phone on the market is 4.7′ or bigger…

  • _X_

    Love my S5! Love Samsung’s new Galaxy App store and music player! The app store is super quick
    to open and barely lags when loading content. In the same breath my Google Play store doesn’t want to connect 2 out of 5 times and it takes forever to load content! Well done Samsung!

    I will agree that Samsung needs to get a new design, but will still commend Samsung on making the plastic back of the S5
    feel so soft and warm…doesn’t even feel like plastic! The TW UI must adopt the new menu setup with all the round color icons!

  • Justin

    What’s the point of comparing the S5 to the 5s or 5 or 5c? Samsung is selling millions and is doing fine. Yes, S5 sales may be slowing, the Note line is increasing in sales (I normally get a galaxy s and have owned quite a few but switched to the note line, note 3). The S5 also has to compete with the S4, it is cheaper now, as well as the galaxy mini line and the grand line, all of which are in the top selling smartphone devices. The iPhone is in a separate league, as it only has the original number increment flagship to compete against, the refresh “s” line, and the “c” line. All of which is strictly Apple. They have very few options of phone and is obviously iOS, completely different OS, and therefore, they have their loyal followers, most buying the flagship, then the refresh, then the “c” line. Samsung is also losing sales to other OEM’s of Android (which is normal, as trends shift and consumers also like to switch and try other OEM’s which is cool too), not only to other Samsung lines within the Company. If you add up all of the lines Samsung sell, mainly galaxy s, note and grand, they are selling hundreds of millions worldwide. They are doing fine. Yes, some Samsung fans will switch completely and leave Android and goto iOS, but then they will most likely get the flagship iPhone at the time, rather than the refreshed “s” or the “c” line. Some apple lovers will also switch completely, and jump to Android, however, with Android there are numerous OEM’s to choose from that run Android, unlike with iOS it is strictly Apple. So there are far greater choices within Android, which is the great thing about Android, everyone who likes the OS Android, really has great options and diversity for consumers of Android. From the nexus line, to the galaxy line, G lineup, one lineup , moto line, droid line, note line, galaxy grand, etc. So, in all Samsung is doing just fine, as they are the #1 oem for Android per sales figures (especially when considering the tough competition from numerous other OEM’s within android and the possibility of losing fans of Android to iOS) and there is no denying that as it is fact, whether you love them, hate them or the feeling being neutral.

  • Gary W

    Samsung will mostly continue to lose marketshare and profit in all smartphone segments.The Galaxy brand image is diluted by flooding. Samsung’s phones are no longer highly differentiated from the competitors – they are similar in terms of hardware and software.

    • Justin

      That is very possible, and only they can fix that if that is indeed the case. However, it could all turn around for them too and they could end up selling more than they ever have. Only time will tell, along with shifting trends, technology and consumer demands being met.

  • Will S.

    They simply haven’t provided people with a compelling reason to buy. I expect more news like this for Samsung.

  • Justin

    Samsung is doing fine, they are leaders in the mobile semiconductor industry for dram and nand memory, now forming a partnership with Qualcomm, doing business with under-armour, working with nest and Google for multiple things, home utilities and knox. They are the leading Android oem, they purchased some of Sharp, their TV business is doing well, they make washer and dryers, laptops, camcorders, cameras, they have their hands in so many things. Their quarterly profits are in the the billions. They aren’t going to fall off the planet, they are everywhere. Sure, they may have losses and quarterly drops in profits, what corporation doesn’t? The fact is they are still a cash cow and expanding their ventures. They will be fine for the foreseeable future unless catastrophic events occur all at once in all of their respective ventures.

    • Steve__S

      I don’t think anyone is questioning the financial viability of Samsung as a company, etc. They are merely acknowledging a negative trend in their position in the high end smart phone market. Everything you claimed in your post may very well be true. But, none of that addresses the point of this article.

  • Major_Pita

    Every 5S sold will likely mean that the buyer will be locked into a contract if and when the iPhone 6 emerges. I wonder how many of them are already Apple users replacing older 4 series and the original i5 who just couldn’t wait any longer for the i6 … as opposed to converts making their first Apple smartphone.purchase.
    Many buyers are like myself who have S4’s and are waiting for the Galaxy Note 4 to break cover. The S5 was too incremental of an upgrade coming from the S4 as far as I’m concerned. I wanted a bigger screen on my next upgrade and the S5 just didn’t go there. The way things look now, Samsung will bring the Note 4 to market before Apple launches the iPone 6 and will launch the Galaxy Alpha (64 bit?) on it’s heels.

  • Chris

    Not surprising to me. As a long time Samsung fan (owned Galaxy S Fascinate, S3, S4, Note 2, Note 3 and S5) I will say that I was incredibly underwhelmed by the S5. In fact, I returned it within a week to go back to my Note 3. I thought TW on the S5 was unbelievably laggy. There is no reason it shouldn’t have been outfitted with 3GB RAM (although I question whether the lag was really RAM related, probably more so the 801 and drag of the skin). The heart rate monitor stuff was all gimmick…. probably less than 3% of people would actually use that for any functional purpose. Nice screen, nice camera. I have also owned HTC One, LG G2, LG G3 and Oppo Find 7a. Apart from SenseUI (which i just hate, I know tons of people love it)…. Touchwiz is the worst. Aesthetics aside, at least Sense doesn’t bring the phone to its knees. Finally, I am well aware of Nova and other launchers….I am just comparing stock launchers.

  • Chris

    I would also argue the comment that one of Samsung’s biggest advantages is just the screen size. iPhone could go 5.7″ and I know a lot of people who still wouldn’t go for it. It has to do with flexibility more than anything. iOS has made some strides but is still light years away from providing the flexibility Android does. For the typical consumer, who could give two craps about any fine grained customization…. the iphone is right for them (evidenced by their strong market share).

  • iKrontologist

    We already know Bogdan hates Samsung and loves CrApple. So he goes for the Cherry Picked iCrAppleholic Market numbers in an attempt to dissuade people from buying Galaxy S 5. Even so, Samsung still took 5 of top 10 vs 3 for CrApple. In reality (out of CrApple’s Reality Distortion Field), Samsung sold 93 Million smartphones in March Quarter and over 100 Million June Quarter, still on target to break 400 Million by year’s end! :D …..wait till their New Super Sized Galaxy Factory in Vietnam comes online w/ Galaxy Note 4 production. CrApple doesn’t stand a chance w/ Samsung breaking the bank on Revenue, Profits and Volume 3 times Apple’s. Oh… they almost did that in June quarter! lol…. 3 x measly 35 Million! Bogdan what do you think we are iDiots like you?