Samsung Galaxy S21 sales doubled in the US compared to its predecessor during first 6 weeks

Boston, Denver, Toronto, London, New Delhi, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul – April 1, 2021

 Initial US sales of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Series smartphone is showing strong outperformance of its predecessor, the Galaxy S20 Series. According to data from Counterpoint Research’s latest US Weekly Smartphone Sales Tracker, the Galaxy S21 Series outsold the S20 by a two-to-one margin during the first six weeks of launch.

Key to the success of this latest flagship has been its lower $799 starting price and strong support from US carriers. A COVID-19 hampered S20 Series launch last year also helped magnify S21 Series’ comparative performance.

Exhibit1: Comparison of 6 week sales of the Galaxy S20 and S21 in the US market

Source: Counterpoint Research US Weekly Smartphone Sales Tracker.

Product mix has also evolved, with Counterpoint’s US Research Analyst Maurice Klaehne noting, “There has been a significant change compared to last year in terms of the model mix, with one-third of S21 Series sales coming from the base model S21. Lower cost coupled with trade-in offers that essentially make the S21 device free, is helping increase demand for these ‘entry-level’ flagships.” He added, “Samsung also got the camera configuration on the base model right, giving it three on the rear to match up with the deluxe S21 Plus.”

Exhibit1: Model mix of the Galaxy S20 and S21 in the US market

Source: Counterpoint Research US Weekly Smartphone Sales Tracker.

 Counterpoint Research’s monthly consumer insights and retailer interviews revealed some interesting points regarding S21 Series sales.

  • Carrier reps have pointed to the aggressive promotions for the S21 that have helped drive sales for the device. T-Mobile and AT&T both offer an $800 credit with a new plan and an eligible trade-in (AT&T’s trade-ins remain most aggressive as the device only needs a $35 trade-in value to be eligible). Verizon has a $750 credit offer with trade-in and unlimited plan.
  • Customers say they like the improved contour-cut camera design which makes the cameras feel more flush compared to the protruding bump of the S20.
  • The plastic back has not been an issue for most customers, according to reps. In fact, some prefer it for giving the device a better grip.
  • Carrier reps also mention that the cameras, which have not changed much since last year, are still a strong upgrade for many consumers who are often coming from three-year-old or older Galaxy models.
  • No charging brick in the box was a mild annoyance to some consumers but not a deal breaker.
  • 5G and upload/download speeds are rarely discussed by users. However, as 5G networks continue to roll out, the S21 will get some good marketing as it is an early device which supports 5G carrier aggregation. This will be something especially marketed by T-Mobile as it is the first US carrier to support 5G carrier aggregation.

The Galaxy S21 Series accounted for almost half of overall sales for Samsung in February, but Mr. Klaehne expects this to decline in March and April. “By then, tax season will be in full swing and many Americans will have received their latest round of stimulus money – these two factors will help drive the prepaid market.” He added, “We expect prepaid sales of Samsung A-Series devices – especially the A01, A11 and A22 – to increase, taking share away from Samsung’s premium segment.”


Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.

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