10M Samsung flagship phones in 28 days a 'record,' 5M iPhone 5 in 3 days 'disappointing'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Samsung earned industry praise for estimating that it expected to ship 10 million units of its flagship Galaxy S4 to carriers in its first month on the market, six months after the same journalists voiced disappointment that Apple had sold "only" 5 million iPhone 5's in its first 3 days.


Source: Business Insider


A report by Philip Elmer-DeWitt of the Fortune Apple 2.0 blog drew attention to the stark contrast in media coverage on the two companies after one of Samsung Electronics' three chief executives told reporters that the company had shipped 6 million units to carriers globally and expected shipments to hit 10 million next week, the fourth week the new phone has been available for sale.

The report cited the Korea Times as describing the shipment numbers as making the new phone the "fastest-selling selling smartphone in Samsung's history." The story was picked up around the world with headlines like Business Insider, which ran "Samsung's S4 Starts Strong: 10 Million Units In Less Than A Month."

But as Fortune pointed out, that same outlet responded to Apple's 3 day launch weekend of 5 million units sold with the all caps headline "IPHONE 5 OPENING WEEKEND SALES COME IN WORSE THAN EXPECTED."


Source: Business Insider


As Elmer-DeWitt observed, "That kind of coverage must drive Tim Cook crazy."

Sales vs Shipments

On top of the disparity in slant on coverage, Apple's announced numbers were not just channel inventory shipments to global carriers; they were actual sales to customers, and those sales were constrained by supply issues.

As Apple's sole chief executive Tim Cook noted last September, "Demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.

"While we have sold out of our initial supply, stores continue to receive iPhone 5 shipments regularly and customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. We appreciate everyone's patience and are working hard to build enough iPhone 5s for everyone."

Samsung's channel vastly larger

Additionally, Samsung's inventory deployment counted shipments to carriers in 60 countries, including Korea, China, India and the U.S.Samsung's inventory deployment counted shipments to carriers in 60 countries, including Korea, China, India and the U.S. Apple launched iPhone 5 in just 9 countries.

Apple launched iPhone 5 in just 9 countries: U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. A week later, long after selling those first 5 million units, it added 22 more countries, mostly in Europe.

That was still less than half the launch countries Samsung shipped its initial Galaxy S4 units to, but Samsung also has more carriers in those countries than Apple. That includes carriers like T-Mobile, which didn't get iPhone 5 until April 12, six months after its original launch.

Despite the late start, the carrier still reported half a million iPhone 5 sales in its first month of selling the iPhone.

A research note by Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research observed that "distribution for the iPhone, at ~240 carriers is significantly lower than Samsung and Nokia, which have essentially global distribution, and Blackberry, which is distributed by >2x the number of carriers."

Apple's country launches much slower than Samsung

Additionally, despite the fact that iPhone 5 marked Apple's fastest global release ever for a smartphone, the new smartphone didn't reach many large markets, including India, until November 2, a launch date for several additional countries that was actually delayed a week due to supply issues.

iPhone 5 didn't launch in Samsung's home of Korea until December 7, and didn't reach the huge market of China until December 14. In total, another 50 countries got iPhone 5 in December, nearly a quarter after its record setting launch weekend.

Apple announced another 2 million iPhone 5 sales in its China launch weekend, exclusive of the 32 other countries that got iPhone 5 the same day.

Samsung still mostly sells cheap, old smartphones

Samsung does continues to sell more mobile devices than Apple. While it refuses to say how many, IDC estimates that Samsung shipped 70.7 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2013, compared to Apple's announced sales of 37.4 million iPhones.

Shipments of Samsung's high end Galaxy S4 therefore only account for about 14 percent or 1/7th of its smartphone shipments. That compares unfavorably to Apple's estimated mix of iPhone models, which, while Apple doesn't detail figures publicly, analysts have complained that "only" about half of Apple's iPhone sales are its latest iPhone 5 model.


Source: Consumer Intelligence Research Partners


Samsung's smartphone sales are dominated by low end, low profit models that run outdated versions of Android that aren't updated and that aren't even capable of running some of the latest software from Google.

Not only are all models of Apple's iPhone shipped with the latest version of IOS, but users can expect to get regular updates for at least 3 years after a model hits the market.

Hype around Galaxy S4 "complete nonsense"

In response to the tech media's flawgic fawning over the Galaxy S4, analyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets noted last month that Samsung's latest phone was "heavier, fatter and less refined than the iPhone 5."

Those sentiments were echoed by Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, who called the model merely "evolutionary" and wrote "we view the S4 as unlikely to meaningfully impact iPhone share of the high-end over the full year, but do expect it to take share from other Android phones."

White added, "we are amazed by how analysts and the media have turned on Apple during the recent stock downdrafts with statements that Samsung is 'out-innovating' Apple. One would believe that Samsung is crushing Apple in the mobile phone market. We believe this is complete nonsense."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 213


    WORLD WILL CRY for missing out on buying AAPL when stock price hits new highs next year!  I sound like an Idiot? lol. Time will tell...........

     

  • Reply 2 of 213
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    Ah, but Apple didn't pay anybody to say nice things after the iPhone 5 launch, did they?


     


    image

  • Reply 3 of 213
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    So, Samsung's number is "expected" and "shipped," averaging 360 thousand per day across 60 countries.

    Apple's number was "actual" and "sold" (not to mention "sold out") averaging 1.7 million per day across just 9 countries.

    Combine that with profit share, developer backing and customer satisfaction, and Apple really IS doomed :p
  • Reply 4 of 213
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    During Job's tenure, Apple sold millions of iPhones before lunch on launch day + recreated markets every week.

    /s
  • Reply 5 of 213
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    Apple only HAD 5 Million units to actually sell. If they had more, they would have sold more. Plus, Apple didn't roll out the iPhone in all of their markets in the first day. Apple has only 200 carriers to sell through and Samsung has 800. With all due respect, Apple has a smaller market to market through with limited mfg capabilities.

    I hate it when the journalist spin the situation the way they do, they don't do a FULL analysis of each company, the market, the mfg capabilities, roll out strategy.

    Apple sold more iPhone 5's in the same time period as the S3 for the first 6 months.
  • Reply 6 of 213
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    drblank wrote: »
    Apple only HAD 5 Million units to actually sell. If they had more, they would have sold more. Plus, Apple didn't roll out the iPhone in all of their markets in the first day. Apple has only 200 carriers to sell through and Samsung has 800. With all due respect, Apple has a smaller market to market through with limited mfg capabilities.

    I hate it when the journalist spin the situation the way they do, they don't do a FULL analysis of each company, the market, the mfg capabilities, roll out strategy.

    Apple sold more iPhone 5's in the same time period as the S3 for the first 6 months.

    The $150 Xbox 360 accessory is still listed as the fastest selling consumer gadget despite at least two years of iPhone sales completely trouncing it at at least 4x the price.
  • Reply 7 of 213
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Just waiting for the usual suspects to show up telling us Apple's 5M ws a shipped number too and Samsung wouldn't ship 10M if they didn't expect to sell them.
  • Reply 8 of 213
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    drblank wrote: »
    Apple only HAD 5 Million units to actually sell. If they had more, they would have sold more. Plus, Apple didn't roll out the iPhone in all of their markets in the first day. Apple has only 200 carriers to sell through and Samsung has 800. With all due respect, Apple has a smaller market to market through with limited mfg capabilities.

    I hate it when the journalist spin the situation the way they do, they don't do a FULL analysis of each company, the market, the mfg capabilities, roll out strategy.

    Apple sold more iPhone 5's in the same time period as the S3 for the first 6 months.
    If only Apple masks their phones out of cheap looking plastic...
  • Reply 9 of 213
    tkell31tkell31 Posts: 216member


    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  I'm sure the next iPhone will be the biggest sellling iPhone of all (opening weekend anyway), just like the iPhone5 before it, but Samsung's increasing growth cant help, but hurt Apple...and at this pace the G5 will sell 10 million in just over two weeks.

  • Reply 10 of 213
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    tkell31 wrote: »
    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  I'm sure the next iPhone will be the biggest sellling iPhone of all (opening weekend anyway), just like the iPhone5 before it, but Samsung's increasing growth cant help, but hurt Apple...and at this pace the G5 will sell 10 million in just over two weeks.

    1) Everyone on this thread understands that Samsung is successful, but you're ignoring the basis of the article that notes the same author referring to slower pace as successful and a faster rate as unsuccessful.

    2) Samsung hasn't had supply constraints but they've also sold a lot less than Apple has in a given time frame. Or are you suggesting that Apple 5 million in 3 days stopped cold for at least the next 25 days which proves Samsung can make and sell 2x as many devices as Apple for a given time frame?
  • Reply 11 of 213
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,991member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post


    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  I'm sure the next iPhone will be the biggest sellling iPhone of all (opening weekend anyway), just like the iPhone5 before it, but Samsung's increasing growth cant help, but hurt Apple...and at this pace the G5 will sell 10 million in just over two weeks.



     


    Samsung is hurting HTC, Sony and other Android manufacturers the most making 94.7% of Android handset PROFITS last quarter, LG took 2.5% all the others share the rest between them.


     


    It seems the American press favours foreign companies over their own, do they want a world which is 100% Samsung?


     


    Will the world be happy when Google's "freedom of choice" boils down to which Samsung handset to buy?

  • Reply 12 of 213
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    Not bad for a phone made out of 'cheap plastic', decent even.
  • Reply 13 of 213
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 967member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tkell31 View Post


    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  I'm sure the next iPhone will be the biggest sellling iPhone of all (opening weekend anyway), just like the iPhone5 before it, but Samsung's increasing growth cant help, but hurt Apple...and at this pace the G5 will sell 10 million in just over two weeks.



    I think you are missing the point. Samsung's growth is smoke and mirrors. This became clear when they were forced to supply real sales numbers during trial. They shipped 10 Million in 30 days to stores.  Apple sold half that many in three days with supply limitations but this same company claimed Apple's 1.7 Million per day was a failure, while Samsung's 333 thousand per day is a great success.  

  • Reply 14 of 213
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    1) Everyone on this thread understands that Samsung is successful, but you're ignoring the basis of the article that notes the same author referring to slower pace as successful and a faster rate as unsuccessful.

    2) Samsung hasn't had supply constraints but they've also sold a lot less than Apple has in a given time frame. Or are you suggesting that Apple 5 million in 3 days stopped cold for at least the next 25 days which proves Samsung can make and sell 2x as many devices as Apple for a given time frame?

    It's all about expectations. Derek Jeter comes up to bat and he's expected to hit a single or a double but if ARod is up to bat a homerun is expected.
  • Reply 15 of 213
    There is an incredible double standard being applied by these so called "analysts". What almost all of them are lacking is perspective. Admittedly Apple has hit a ceiling and it needs to grow sideways if it wants to keep increasing its bottom line. Analysts are crazy about Samsung because Samsung can only go up while Apple can only go down, and that is being reflected in the chatter as well as the stock value.

    Apple really does need to re-ignite some excitement in its products. I don't know whether that means entering a new market, improving current products, or revamping iOS itself. Whatever the case may be, though, Apple needs to do something quickly. We will have a better idea of what's happening by this fall. If all we see by then are recycled designs and nothing really new, Apple will be in trouble.
  • Reply 16 of 213
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    tkell31 wrote: »
    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  ...

    Because demand for the SG4 < the iPhone. And who says the buyer is in the market for the iPhone 5?
  • Reply 17 of 213
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    tkell31 wrote: »
    I think people are missing the point.  Obviously in the high end smartphone market Apple has dominated for years.  The point is here Samsung is continuing to grow their product launches at an extremely high rate.  Essentially every G4 sold is going to someone who is then not going to buy an iPhone (at least not this time around).  The other issue is Samsung doesnt seem to have problems with supply constraints and pumping out units to meet demand.  I'm sure the next iPhone will be the biggest sellling iPhone of all (opening weekend anyway), just like the iPhone5 before it, but Samsung's increasing growth cant help, but hurt Apple...and at this pace the G5 will sell 10 million in just over two weeks.

    1) Everyone on this thread understands that Samsung is successful, but you're ignoring the basis of the article that notes the same author referring to slower pace as successful and a faster rate as unsuccessful.

    2) Samsung hasn't had supply constraints but they've also sold a lot less than Apple has in a given time frame. Or are you suggesting that Apple 5 million in 3 days stopped cold for at least the next 25 days which proves Samsung can make and sell 2x as many devices as Apple for a given time frame?

    It never ceases to amaze -- and impress -- me that you take the time to talk logic to trolls and fools....
  • Reply 18 of 213
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    ... Admittedly Apple has hit a ceiling and it needs to grow sideways if it wants to keep increasing its bottom line...

    Hit a ceiling? It's not even on the largest carrier in the world yet.
  • Reply 19 of 213
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    It's all about expectations. Derek Jeter comes up to bat and he's expected to hit a single or a double but if ARod is up to bat a homerun is expected.

    I find baseball to be so hit or miss.
  • Reply 20 of 213
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,223member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Not bad for a phone made out of 'cheap plastic', decent even.

    Actually that's pretty pathetic for the new flagship model of what is supposedly the world-beating company in smartphones.

    Glad to see that you agree it's cheap plastic......
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