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.