Samsung has outdone itself yet again. Even when many questioned its approach after unveiling its latest flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S4, the Korean manufacturer held its ground and saw the S4 blitz its way toward becoming its fastest-selling mobile phone after hitting the 5 million mark within just a couple of weeks. There are many takeaways from this little statistic, and we’ve listed some below.
Samsung is the Team to Beat
That is, at least as far as the Android platform is concerned. Sony had a considerable head start when it unveiled its flagship earlier in the year, with the beautiful Xperia Z enjoying some solid sales while HTC and Samsung were yet to reveal their latest top dogs. However, the Galaxy S4 looks to be mounting a very convincing rally right off the bat; and nobody should be surprised if the phone takes the lead from the Xperia Z before the quarter is even over.
Of course, even Apple should be threatened a bit. Samsung is showing no signs of slowing down. And while there are still many Apple fanboys who defend the iPhone through thick or thin, there are also many who are considering a switch. With the iPhone 5S still a couple of months away, it’s going to be difficult to curb the market momentum being enjoyed by the Galaxy S4 right now.
It’s the Internals and the Performance
The main issue that reviewers and consumers have with the new flagship is the lack of a premium feel to the phone because it uses practically the same polycarbonate (plastic, basically) construction used in its predecessor. That said, it would seem Samsung defines ‘premium’ in a differently from competitors like Apple and HTC. There’s no need to focus on aluminum unibody frames here—Samsung’s idea of a top-shelf phone has more to do with the spec sheet and actual performance, and offering a well-rounded experience for practically anybody.
What matters to Samsung—and obviously to the many people who have purchased the S4—is having a phone that can handle practically any task thrown at it. Productivity, multimedia capabilities, all sorts of communications tools from your standard texting to having access to their employer’s hosted VoIP PBX, along with some pretty useful things like a removable battery and a microSD card slot—you name it, the S4 has it.
Carriers Really Help Drive Shipments
With the widespread adoption of the Galaxy S4 by mobile carriers all over the world, consumers have relatively cheap access to the phone via subsidized carrier contracts. Bundled with attractive data bundles or even unlimited data plans in some markets, this gives prospective plan-holders the perfect combination of hardware and connectivity.
On the carrier side, latching on to the S4 is really a must for telcos these days, because of the huge success of the S3. It would be foolish to neglect Samsung’s latest flagship, and those who were quick to offer the phone are now reaping the rewards.
Sure, you can argue that the stated figures are for ‘shipments’ rather than actual ‘sales’; but given all indications—consumer reports, store observations, comments all over the Internet—it would seem that the Samsung Galaxy S4 really is shipping and selling at a much more rapid rate compared to its predecessors. According to a Samsung exec, the Galaxy S4 is set to hit 10 million units in sales by the end of May. In fact, last May 15th, sales figures had been in excess of 6 million units already.
For all the back-and-forth discussions about the validity and relevance of the S4, it’s a numbers game at the end of the day. Success in the industry is determined by sales figures instead of review scores; and it looks like Samsung is winning this battle once again.