Samsung Galaxy S6 sales reportedly fall short of expectations in South Korea

by: Andrew GrushApril 22, 2015
samsung galaxy s6 review aa (6 of 45)

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge have certainly been at the top of tech headlines since they were first unveiled back at MWC. Bringing improved specs and an attractive new design, we’ve heard numerous reports about how successful the latest Galaxy S devices have been with Samsung exceeding pre-order expectations both in Korea and around the globe. However, now that the dust has settled a bit, things may not be as rosy as they seem.

Read also: Android innovation: Sony and HTC risk falling behind even more

Just last week we learned that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge had achieved a combined 300,000 pre-orders, leading at least one Samsung exec to boldly state that the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge could reach over 70 million units sold. Unfortunately, a new report from Korea indicates that out of the 300,000 pre-orders, only 200,000 units have been sold. This suggests early forecasts may have been inaccurate.

The Galaxy S6 continues to be well received among tech fans and casual consumers alike, and so we certainly wouldn’t be worried if we were Samsung.

Does this situation sound at all familiar? It should, as we saw a similar scenario with the Samsung Galaxy S5. Initially sales seemed to be strong for the Galaxy S5, and then things slowed down — considerably. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Samsung’s latest Galaxy is following in the same footsteps.

The Galaxy S5 actually saw a ramped up and more aggressive launch (120 vs 60 launch markets) over the Galaxy S4, which is why sales initially seemed stronger. In contrast, we’ve actually heard reports about how there is a great demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge, more demand than Samsung can meet at this point. As Samsung increases production of the Galaxy S6 Edge, sales will only get better.

Beyond this, the report from Yonhap News mentions that South Korea’s telecom watchdog has been working hard to improve transparency, banning carriers from paying subsidies far exceeding the legal ceiling.

Latest Galaxy S6 videos

This lead carriers to keep the subsidies modest at 210,000 won ($193.90) upon release, below the maximum legal ceiling of 330,000 won. As carriers increase subsidies, resulting in a lower price for contract-signing consumers, the Galaxy S6 sales should improve even further.

Bottom-line, these are still early days for the Galaxy S6 and there are a number of factors that could have lead to slightly less impressive sales than initially believed. The Galaxy S6 continues to be well received among tech fans and casual consumers alike, and so we certainly wouldn’t be worried if we were Samsung. Despite this latest report, all indications point to one of the most successful Galaxy S launches in history.

Own a Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge? Check out our list of best cases and wireless chargers!

  • DDT

    That’s not surprising considering that Apple is on track to match, or even exceed samsung marketshare in south korea with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

    South koreans know what is the best and it looks like even samsungs desperate efforts and last minute turnaround to copy Apple with the s6 didn’t helped aggainst the fruity onslaught.

    • yuan

      its not exceeding samsung’s share especially with the s6 and edge on sale any time soon

    • Lightning Black

      You misunderstand. Samung expect that of the initial sales of the launch of the s6/s6 edge, 75% of sales would be for the s6 and 25% of sales would be for the s6 edge but the s6 edge exceed that by accounting of 50% not 25% therefore the regular s6 only accounted for 50% instead of 75% therefore it sold less than expect but this is actually a good since the edge us more expensive and Samsung by selling more s6 edgesthan expecred made more money

      • 조용일

        For those who are not aware of the Korean mobile market in depth, Korean Gov. has proclaimed so colled ‘단통법(Dan-tong law)’ which regulates the marketing strategies of telecommunication companies. And this made people purchase with there oringinal whole price…. this has frozen the whole market.

    • Degus Jacoby Pradana

      Whaaaat? Why icrapple in here? Are u spy of icrapple? GTFO

    • John Kar

      You do know the iPhone 6/6+ sales plummeted 50% in SK since the S6’s announcement, don’t you?

    • fxrsniper

      Copy Apple lmao are you serious, look at the iPhone 6 and what phones it copied.

  • yuan

    it sold much better than s5 first week in SKI and there is no source of the report from yonhap. considering that it sold out in dubai, saudi arabia, and other markets, we will see in the financial results which is true

  • Freddy Born

    i bet its because of the non removable battery and micro sd.

    • daggettbeaver

      Probably. That’s why Apple can’t sell any iPhones.

  • Captain Obvious

    We may be missing an M:
    “banning carriers fro paying subsidies”

    • daggettbeaver

      Or maybe you can pay with your fro.

  • Captain Obvious

    I don’t usually wish companies bad sales….however I kinda hope these flop and Samsung goes back to the SD card and removable battery, and gets rid of the horrible material choices: glass back/aluminum

    • Why would they take a step backwards, the market will catch up and soon you won’t worry about an sd card

      • Captain Obvious

        That is not true for so many reasons – by that logic we should get rid of external had drives as well??? I like being able to pull my card and pop it in a different phone and have all my info there – and if my phone crashes, or brakes I have all my info on the SD card so its not lost – and I like to flash ROMs and do Nandroid backups to the card – I can take out the SD card and use it on my work computer to backup files and take work home (work pc does not work with plugging phone in USB), I also have more than one SD card-one of them has offline gps navigation because I spend time in places where signal cannot support navigation (these are huge files), not to mention the cost difference between adding 64 gig by SD card or having to purchase the bigger phone.
        Removing the SD card was the step backwards, one that other phone manufacturers have realized and are now including the much needed feature again… hopefully Samsung will figure this out as well.

        • Hans Pedersen

          Tell that to Google, not Samsung. Google were the ones killing SD cards, Samsung worked hard for 5 years to customize Android to support them.

          • Captain Obvious

            This is very true, however I have given up hope on Google supporting SD – and since Samsung was the one working hard to support for the last five years it hurt even more when they finally gave up… I have owned the S2, Note 2, S4 active, and am now using the S5.. which I guess I will hold onto for another year in hopes of the S7 meeting everyone’s needs.

          • Fifth313ment

            IMO Samsung won’t be going back to the SD card. But I’ll wait for the Note 5 to know for sure. Otherwise I’ll be going with LG as my next phone. :) I care more about removable battery anyway. I like to be able to make my old phone new again by popping in a new battery.

          • Captain Obvious

            I have them neck and neck – removable battery is also a “must have” for me as well. In addition to replacing a wore out battery I like to b able to swap the battery out and go from 0 to 100% instantly – I use my phone while hiking, mountain biking, and geocaching…..wireless charging and fast charging do no good when you are miles from electricity.

          • fxrsniper

            You don’t know if they will or not, but I think if they read the media at all the upset fans which Im sure are in the millions, they may wise up and put it back in.

          • Svnjay

            Wrong, Android has always supported SD cards and Samsung did not have to customize Android. SD cards work on the Nexus phone, there just isn’t a slot for them. You can easily get a USB adapter and you’ll see that SD cards.

      • WhoaManWtF

        I agree, for the average and majority of users a larger internal storage is much better than a smaller internal and an SD card.

        • Captain Obvious

          For the average and majority of users this is most likely true – does that mean we alienate those who do benefit from having an SD card as an option? Does having the SD card as an option and not using it affect those who don’t benefit from it?

          • Naturaal Gaamer

            Buy the LG G4 or the Sony Xperia Z4 if you want those. We want smartphones such as the Galaxy S6 from Samsung and I’m happy to buy one.

          • fxrsniper

            Then that is your problem, but taking a 6 year backwards step is not the right move to make. Ultra SD cards are as fast if not faster than internal.

          • WhoaManWtF

            It does when the manufacturers that add SD card slots are content with small internal chips.

        • Demetrus Dugar

          Get drug tested after that blasphemous comment

        • fxrsniper

          Ultra SD cards are as fast if not faster than internal.

          • WhoaManWtF

            Not true, look up the speed of those max at 95ish compared to the internal speeds in the S6

          • fxrsniper

            I’ve run read and write test it’s not that much of a difference to justify removing the SD card sot

          • WhoaManWtF

            Also you have to remember that most people end up buying a 40-48 mbs sd card to throw into their phones because they do not know any better, in which case the S6 is ridiculously faster than their card with internal only.

      • Demetrus Dugar

        They told the lie you can get access to media file faster without sd card, I tried. It wasn’t faster at all. They wanted to make more money on the phone, charging top dollar for a 2nd class iphone.

      • fxrsniper

        They went backwards by removing the options for a battery and SD card

      • Loghorn

        If you truly believe that, then you are blind, sir.

    • Degus Jacoby Pradana

      Hi asshole

    • Awayze

      The S5 with those said features was hardly a hit. No guarantee the S7 will be. I myself thought the S6 Edge was cool and new but after seeing S6, the S6 would be my choice, design wise.

      • fxrsniper

        Wasn’t hardly a hit, It’s the best Samsung phone today ever made.

    • Melchor

      If Samsung plans to keep the S phones uni-body they should make the batteries a bit larger, poor battery life is annoying. I honestly don’t mind if the phone is not the thinnest.

      In regards to the SD cards, I think they wiill eventually become obsolete.

    • Darktanone

      Seems Apple always wins in the long run. Look at what happened to the physical keyboard and adobe Flash. Now removable batteries and SD cards on mobile phones are about to experience the same fate. If early sales figures are already this weak, it’s a strong indication these phones will miss sales expectations. Samsung will undoubtedly sell millions of these models, but the larger iPhone 6/6 Plus have taken their toll on Samsung’s mobile phone market and I don’t think they’ll recover anytime soon, if at all. Additionally, Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 7 in less than six weeks at WWDC, Samsung doesn’t have much time at all to improve sales. Overall, it just doesn’t look good for their mobile business going forward. They’ll still sell phones, but their heydays are behind them!

      • The Truth

        Like apple caught up with larger display after these many years.. So its not always like apple wins!!
        BTW…its going to be iphone6S, not iPhone7 with minor improvement..and yes..we know what apple will is the best iPhone ever like always. They dont dare to compare with competitor in terms of features, specs or functionality. They always compare to their last model to play safe. If only thing they compare, thats sales and profits…coz they know..there are lotttttts of iSheeps there to fill their pocket!! ;)

        • Darktanone

          When the original iPhone debut, it was the largest screen on any phone. Over the years the competition has aped it in size…I deliberately said iPhone 7 because Apple may forgo its current naming scheme and introduce the new model as iPhone 7 like they did with the iPad! We’ll find out in a few week. Android specs amount to zero advantage in real world comparisons to iDevices, and often trail in the comparisons. All those impressive specs are a waste and are only valid when comparing against other Android devices. Maybe that’s why Apple only use their products in comparisons. Only the truly uninformed and gullible fall for the specs gimmick. And there are plenty of you out there!

          • fxrsniper

            You sir are a complete idiot

      • fxrsniper

        Dude Samsung out sold Apple first Q this year already. so wtf are you even talking about, Samsung is already on the road to taking Apple out again, As a whole Android still owns 67% of the worlds market. so no Apple does not always win, they have been behind since 2010

    • V-Phuc

      Completely agree. Those who quickly climb on the SG6 bandwagon, let them be. After a year or so, their non-removable batteries start losing charge retention. As a matter of fact, multiple reports from heavy to medium use already said that the phone can barely sustain a 8-10 hour use. Between paying for a new phone ($700-1K) or getting charged to put in a new battery ($100 or more?) vs DIY $15 battery, who’s smarter now?

  • Mike Bastable

    It is kinda worrying that they (or anyone) expected t his to do huge numbers. The market has definitely changed and most (NOT Sony or HTC) of their competitors have seriously upped their game. LG is certainly aiming for ex Samsung users with the G series. They took a big risk losing the removable battery and sd card…Customers will catch up (we dont really need these things) but initially they will suffer.
    The S6 IS the very BEST that we could have hoped for from them and they have really met and exceeded everyone’s expectations. However they will never be as dominant as before, times change, but they will remain Android’s behemoth and rightfully so.

    • Captain Obvious

      YOU do not need them, please do not say “we” – because I do need them, and will not purchase a phone without them.

      • Mike Bastable

        Fair point Capt.

  • REMF

    Release the emerald green s6 edge…. it will go up…

  • zenplay

    Currently the highend smartphone market is frozen in Korea because the new law prohibits virtually most of subsidies. Global smartphone companies such as Sony and Huawai have withrawn from Korea. Iphone sales also have been reduced rapidly for a few weeks. It is not just a problem of Samsung.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    Bravo AA.
    Bashing Samsung must go on. The hype of S6 Edge must be calmed down, because Apple is in danger.
    Great dirty trick. Taking the Korean complicated market to global conclusion,
    Of course after that in the article AA make slyly their way out :
    ” Despite this latest report, all indications point to one of the most successful Galaxy S launches in history”
    iPathetic. LOL

  • John

    Yeah…so even on contract it’s $500+ or more for the phone. I doubt few will buy it anywhere else in the world with that kind of price. What a stupid law. I’m not sure how limiting the subsidies will improve transparency. Everyone will end up paying more at the end and I doubt the telecom companies dropped their monthly plan prices significantly to reflect the lack of phone subsidy.

  • Degus Jacoby Pradana

    It will sell like a cupcake, even Avenger use samsung product (after watch Avenger Age of Ultron)

  • roeshak

    Simple fact. The android market space is flooded with loads of a very capable devices that’ll more than satisfy the needs of most users if not all.
    The commercially performance of the S5 was blamed by techies on its build quality which missed a very crucial point.
    In 2014 we hit a ceiling. A plateau as far as performance and overall specs go. There were enough options, many of whom much cheaper than the top of the line flagship devices, available to consumers. The days when consumers rushed to get the latest and greatest are gone!
    The iPhone 6 and its larger sibling were the exception to that rule because they were the first and only large screened iPhones.
    The s6 is neither the first premium device on the market, nor the first with a good camera.
    In fact I think many consumers will opt for last years flagships because they’re much cheaper and offer the same basic overall package as this years crop.
    Techies hey carried away about tech. It’s just who they are.
    The reality though is very different from what people read and view on their sites.
    The iPhone 6s will not sell in any numbers near what y the iPhone 6 did because iPhone users will have the option of the older and cheaper version.
    The market is all round becoming flooded so mad sales of any one device will become a thing of the past

  • Mali

    Reading some of the comments.. Some of you don’t realize the value of a sd card. Like captain obvious states.. Without an external sd card.. We can’t just move files over by popping out a card. Also having saved data for alot of us rooters.. It’s essential to have a sd card.. Alot of rooting apps always will say ‘transfer file to root of sd storage’ .. Also now let’s bring up battery life issues.. Batteries still to this day Suck. It’s always been nice to have a removable back.. And just pop in a new battery in and go… I hope samsung flops. But I also blame fault to the fans and idiots that wanted a metal back etc etc. I mean what did you think was going to happen?

    • The Truth

      The way multiple wireless charging standard support has been added in S6, removable battery does not have much future.
      Moreover..that is the way forward…wireless charging, faster charging, less power consumption…that way technology advances. If they do not promote such things, whom do you expect to promote these new technologies..small companies??? With big brands promoting such advanced technologies..they will get chance for more contribution, research funding and growing tech to next level!!

  • Naturaal Gaamer

    Lot of CrApple wh*res here. This is Android, you’re not welcome here.

  • Kyle Ong

    All the Sd card…we could always uses dual drive, otg cable….even those share wifi media stick. This days, cloudnservice is a trend…might not be of interest to many but its there.

  • Kyle Ong

    For S6 or S6edge to sell well, it needs to b in Korean drama.
    it will helps to bring the phine to higher attention..

  • Major_Pita

    That’s because Samsung has had a history of releasing an up-spec South Korea only variant just months after the version the rest of the world gets.

  • daggettbeaver

    There’s this, but it doesn’t mean that, and it could change. Well, that was worth writing.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    No one tech media dare to tell , what are the prices ON CONTRACT of S6 and S6 Edge in Korea last weeks. The prices are from $500+ up to $600 .

    Because the operators there have problems with the state lately.

    Kudos to S6 and S6 Edge , for selling so much at this price first 10 days.
    Let the AAuthority guys guess how many of their lovely iPhones would be sold in US at this price ON CONTRACT! LOL

  • schahram

    These numbers are not official. Some iSheep had created such rumor that Samsung hasn’t sold enough S6 in South Corea.

  • slo

    Seriously, Android is doomed if Samsung does not sell well this year. They are the only Android OEM competing for the high end customers. Android is being more and more directed towards the low end but there is no much profit there and Android OEMs got slaughtered last quarter by Apple who dominates the high end segments.

    • fxrsniper

      Are you nuts Apple does dominate in any category esp high end. Android didn’t get slaughtered last Q

  • Demetrus Dugar

    Hope the phone fails, no sd card, not waterproof. The design team are idiots, charging top dollar for a 2nd class iphone.

  • Zippero

    Samsung should have stuck to its roots rather than being a soulless iPhone clone. Now, all the fans are pissed. It is better to succeed in originality than fail in imitation. If people wanted an iPhone, they would have just gotten an iPhone, not a dumb Samsung clone of an iPhone.

    • The Truth

      You are only looking at outer shell..look at the inner stuff…every in the business..latest in technology for smartphone market..thats what Sammy gives..and good for tech growth!!
      For the outer shell, its clear cut based on ppls demands.. You and many others might be from the club who wants removable battery, sd card and ok with leather back, but many are not…and they are crying for years…So samsung had to listen to them.
      But bringing two different type models : one metal/glass and one plastic..thats not possible for same model.

    • The Truth

      But yes..they may keep these support in note series..coz note is for more advanced users and they are the core category demanding these items.

  • mrmrdolph

    meeeh i dont care if it fails or not (which it wont). I bought one, i love it. right now its the best phone i could get . Lg G4 could be interning though but will probably still be a gen behind spec wise. removable battery meh. never changed one anyway, i buy a new phone every 2nd year.

  • V-Phuc

    Well, for those who understand the true meaning between “projected sale” vs “real sale”, this report is no surprise. Sammy can dream all it wants, inflate all the # about pre-order, bla bla bla, in the end, what truly counts is how many units got through the cash register at each sale point. And for all the ‘so-called’ experts, including here at AA, who praised SG6 and SG6E without realizing how much the removed features impact these new phones, this should be a wake-up call. I have a Note 3 so like very much Samsung devices, but can’t help but wish the SG6 and G6E fail. When one prioritizes form over function, one is destined to fail…in a epic manner!

  • terpski

    Koreans are getting tired of the same old crap Samsung is putting out there. There are many more options now than there were 5 years ago.

  • Adrian Lew

    Was stupid to disable the removable battery and SD card. Follow Apple Stupidity and you will loose more customers. ..

  • YEET

    SAMSUNG is BAWSS. They hate us cuz they aint us

  • tito55

    Samsung obviously had predicted a great success with his Galaxy S6, expectations were high for these smartphones since the firm hoped to sell 70 million Galaxy S6.

  • fxrsniper

    WHere does these guys get their info from Samsung outsold Apple 1Q THIS YEAR. Who cares about South Korea, lets talk about as a whole.