Customers lined up to buy the Galaxy S5, but not everywhere
The Galaxy S5 went on sale last weekend in 125 countries from North America, Europe, and much of Asia. With competition stronger than ever and tapering growth in the high-end smartphone market, all eyes are now on Samsung’s new hero device and its sales performance.
The first signs are encouraging, with customers in several European countries lining up to buy the Galaxy S5.
Samsung told ZDNet Korea that Galaxy S5 sales were on average 1.3 times higher than for the Galaxy S4, with some European markets seeing double the performance of the 2013 flagship. At a Paris store, Samsung sold 200 units in the first hour, while in the UK launch-day sales were double that of the Galaxy S4. Samsung also boasted great sales in Austria and the Netherlands, where 700 people reportedly gathered in Rotterdam for the launch of the Galaxy S5.
A Samsung representative said orders are already “in the millions” for the Galaxy S5, and we have no reasons to doubt it. The Galaxy S line has always been Samsung’s top seller.
With that said, in some countries, the Korean company offered free Gear Fits to the first Galaxy S5 buyers, which probably encouraged customers to line up. For instance, at the Samsung Experience Store in Frankfurt, Germany, the first 200 Galaxy S5 buyers received a free Gear Fit fitness accessory. In France, SFR customers had the option to buy an unlocked Galaxy S5 and get a Gear Fit for just an extra euro.
In the US, customers were less eager to line up for the S5, reports Recode’s Dawn Chmielewski: “an informal survey of stores in downtown San Francisco found healthy preorders for the Galaxy S5, but no long lines at the purchase counter.”
T-Mobile reported the highest number of registrations for information on the Galaxy S5, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that sales broke records as well. Indeed, there are no reports of American customers lining up for the Galaxy S5, the way European customers did.
Samsung has a much stronger presence in Europe compared to North America, where Apple still commands a large and faithful following, especially at the high end of the market.