According to the latest preliminary smartphone sell-through survey data across 40 countries from Counterpoint’s monthly research, Samsung’s newest flagship Galaxy S7 series (S7 and S7 Edge) is showing healthy demand. Compared to the Galaxy S6 series performance last year, the S7 series is showing as much as 50% higher sales during its opening month of sales in some markets. In the US, sales are up 30%, Western Europe up 20% and China 10% higher than the S6 during the same period. Korea was the one anomaly where sales have been soft and relatively flat year over year.
Commenting on the results, Counterpoint’s Research Director Jeff Fieldhack said, “The US is a key & very strong market for Samsung where there is high percentage of premium devices sold like the Galaxy S7 series. Moving the launch to early March was a great strategy for Samsung.
Carriers and national retailers were all looking to drive store traffic during the seasonally slow first quarter. Samsung’s S7 series secured the hero promo spot with very attractive bundles which included VR headsets, buy-one-get-one deals, tablets and even televisions which really drove healthy sell through.”
Counterpoint’s channel survey implies 10 million units were shipped from Samsung. The company has already realized healthy sell-through globally in March, which is 25% higher than S6 series in its launch month. The Galaxy S6 faced strong competition from an immense upgrade cycle to the iPhone 6. This year, however, iPhone 6S demand has waned in March and the S7 has been the chief benefactor.
Adding further comments on demand for S7 models, James Yan, Research Director in China for Counterpoint said. “Last year, demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge model was high but because of supply constraints, Samsung lost the window of opportunity. However, this year the sales mix is almost 47% Edge vs 53% flat models, thanks to a better supply situation for the popular curved edge display model. In addition, there has been a greater adoption to the edge display by consumers. However, we believe the S7 series will still face an uphill task in China as it will compete against numerous Android flagships with a similar dual edge display such as Vivo’s Xplay5 Elite and new flagships from Huawei — the Ascend P9 and Mate 8 models.”
Neil Shah, Research Director with Counterpoint said, “The subtle industrial design tweaks such as the rounded back and reduced protrusion of the camera make for an improved in hand feel. In addition, the enhanced camera performance, expandable memory storage, waterproof capability and lower price is proving to hit the right note with consumers. We estimate the S7 series should sell considerably better than the S6 and S5, but probably on par with the popular S4 model. The revival in the premium segment due to the uptick in Galaxy S7 demand is also accompanied by strong growth in Samsung’s low tier portfolio with its J series (Galaxy J2, J5, J7 popular models) and Galaxy Grand Prime. This will drive scale and will help Samsung defend its leading market share position globally this year.”