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Samsung sold 6 million Galaxy S6s in first 20 days

Galaxy S6 launch

Korean tech giant Samsung sold 6 million units of its new Galaxy S6 flagship smartphone, which was an improvement on last year, according to analyst firm Counterpoint Research.

Its predecessor, the Galaxy S5, suffered disappointing sales, which was largely put down to the fact that it was barely distinguishable from the GS4, giving consumers little incentive to upgrade. This time there was enough new gadgety goodness to turn things around, although latent demand from people upgrading their GS4 was probably also a factor.

Counterpoint tracks smartphone model shipments on a monthly basis and these numbers are for April 2015. Samsung didn’t start selling the GS6 until 10 April so the 6 million was achieved in just 20 days and all the more significant since the geographical reach was initially smaller, as was the associated marketing spend.

The Galaxy S6 Edge was definitely a different product from its predecessor,” Tom Kang of Counterpoint told Telecoms.com. “It was worth buying for those in the replacement cycle, unlike the Galaxy S5 which was considered a Galaxy S4 clone with a slight facelift.

“The marketing was toned down, with less glitter almost subtle compared to the Galaxy S5, but there will be the need for some price reductions and subsidy support to propel products like the Galaxy S6 standard, as it lacks differentiation yet has a price tag similar to the Edge product.”

As you can see from the Counterpoint table below, the regular GS6 outsold the Edge, despite the latter’s greater novelty value. Both of them are still behind the two iPhone 6s, but this isn’t surprising since Apple has a much smaller smartphone portfolio than Samsung and the GS6 series represented just 21% of all Samsung smartphone sales in the month. This still compares favourably to the GS5 a year ago, which only accounted for 16% of Samsung smartphone sales.

“We believe the Galaxy S6 Edge could have sold more if there weren’t supply issues, but it is on track to become more popular than the standard version as Samsung’s marketing engine kicks-in at full-speed,” said Neil Shah, analyst at Counterpoint. “The curved glass is certainly going to be a challenge for production as it is the first of its kind and navigating unchartered waters, so managing the supply with shifts in demand between the two models will be the key to maintaining momentum.”

Counterpoint notes that the GS6’s strong start has been offset by a drop off in other Samsung products such as the Galaxy note, so it doesn’t look like Samsung will get a big overall smartphone sales lift in Q2. Other than Apple the top ten is filled out by a couple of Xiaomi models, which received a boost in April, and even a Microsoft Lumia phone managed to sneak into the list.

Top 10 smartphone list for April 2015
Rank Brand Model
1 Apple iPhone 6
2 Apple iPhone 6 Plus
3 Samsung Galaxy S6
4 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
5 Xiaomi Redmi 2
6 Samsung Note 4
7 Apple iPhone 5S
8 Samsung Galaxy S5
9 Xiaomi Redmi Note
10 Microsoft Lumia 435
  • Samsung Electronics


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