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Samsung strikes out in Japan... again
By all accounts, especially financial ones, the two Samsung flagships released last month are certified hits. The Galaxy S6, and its colleague the Galaxy S6 Edge, saw the Korean OEM reach a new level of build quality when it announced the pair of products, complete with a metal frame and glass back panel. They are, arguably, the best smartphones Samsung has produced to date, and by far the most costly.
Over in the land of Japan however, the tide hasn’t turned, at least judging by the poor sales the devices have rung up. A new report by Japanese marketing firm BCN has some rather somber news for Samsung: the Galaxy S6, upon its first week of release, ranked 17th among all devices sold, but would drop to 30th place just a week later. The Galaxy S6 Edge, viewed by many as the more desirable device thanks to its unique form factor, launched at the 10th place spot in its first week of sales, and then dropped to 26th place during the second week.
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According to BCN on May 11, the Galaxy S6 Edge ranked 26th in the Japanese smartphone weekly sales rankings from April 27 to May 3. The sale of the model appeared to be smooth at first, ranking 10th the first week of its launch. However, its ranking went down by 16 notches in just one week. The Galaxy S6 also suffered from a drop in the rankings from 17th in the first week of its release to 30th place in the following week.
Samsung, whose market share has been hovering around 5% for some time now in Japan, is no doubt quite displeased with this news, especially after it has made some major sacrifices in order to try and better appeal to the Japanese market, namely removing its logo from everything under-the-sun and a total re-branding of all things to simply “Galaxy”. According to this report, Apple’s iPhone products are currently occupying 6 of the top 10 spots in Japan’s current sales ranking data, which would certainly go a long way to explaining part of the problem at hand.
Still, this situation is quite curious indeed, as the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge released with literally no competition whatsoever. It is being sold on two carriers, NTT docomo and au by KDDI, neither of which had any other product released in the month of April, or in the recent past for that matter. This would mean that not only has Samsung failed to break into the top 10 at launch, but it couldn’t even outsell existing handsets that have already been released.
There have been rumors floating around this year indicating the company might be intending to pull out of Japan soon. While nothing has been confirmed, this kind of performance problem is definitely not going to please anyone involved.