Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G in the hand in the pink
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • First-month sales of the Galaxy S21 series in the US were triple those of the S20 line, according to Strategy Analytics.
  • The S21 Ultra also dominated the new lineup, representing 40% of its sales.
  • Aggressive pricing may have played a role.

Galaxy S21 sales have clearly been strong in some parts of the world, but Samsung’s latest phones appear to be particularly popular in the US. According to SamMobile, researchers at Strategy Analytics estimate that first-month Galaxy S21 sales in the country roughly tripled those of the S20 from a year earlier.

People weren’t just buying the lowest-cost model, either. Analysts determined that the Galaxy S21 Ultra represented 40% of the new lineup’s American sales — no mean feat when it’s the largest and most expensive model.

Cost is believed to have played a role in the spike. Where Samsung followed a familiar pricing strategy with the Galaxy S20, it was more willing to cut S21 prices sooner to boost sales. As we write this, Samsung is selling the S21 Ultra for just under $900 — about $300 below its official price. We’d add that even the suggested prices were lower across the board, with the S21 Ultra priced $200 under its S20 equivalent.

Related: Samsung phone buyer’s guide

Timing might have been a factor as well. The Galaxy S20 arrived in early March 2020, right before COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns swept the US, the economy was thrown into chaos and job losses were rampant. There wasn’t much point to buying a phone when you weren’t going anywhere. While the pandemic is still raging a year later, lightened restrictions and a partial economic recovery might have spurred Galaxy S21 sales.

Samsung’s challenge may be to maintain the Galaxy S21’s sales momentum throughout the rest of 2021. Discounts might spur interest while the phones are new, but it’s not certain they’ll help as much once the novelty has faded. There’s also the matter of competition. While the iPhone 12 series has been around for the S21’s entire lifecycle, you might see more bargains for Apple’s phones as they mature — and that’s not counting the inevitable refresh later in the year. Samsung may have to work hard to keep the S21 in the spotlight.