Galaxy S6 Series Soars to become third & fourth Bestsellers in April, just 20 days after launch

According to the latest monthly Market Pulse report from Counterpoint Research, the Galaxy S6 series combined (S6 and S6 Edge) has reached second place in overall smartphone series sales behind iPhone 6 series, less than a month after launch.

The standard flat screen Galaxy S6 captured the third whereas the curved edge Galaxy S6 Edge captured the fourth position in terms of sales rankings.

The Samsung Galaxy S6, launched on April 10th this year, has managed to exceed the sales of last year’s flagship Galaxy S5 in the same period in 2014. Only 20 countries were included in the initial roll-out of the Galaxy S6 compared to the 125 countries in which the Galaxy S5 launched last year.

Commenting on the results, Counterpoint’s Research Director Tom Kang said, ‘Considering that fewer countries were in the initial product release, it has had a slower roll-out and lower marketing budget than the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy S6 series can be considered to be performing better than the Galaxy S5.’

Counterpoint’s channel survey shows a total of 6 million units were sold by the end of April. We believe this is about 60% of the units Samsung has shipped out of its factories. So 40% remain as inventory in the distribution channels which is not unusual for a new product in its first stages. The standard Galaxy S6 sold slightly more than the S6 Edge, but the S6 Edge showed much higher initial interest. The Galaxy S6 series was 21% of the Samsung’s total smartphone sales during April 2015 compared to Galaxy S5 which was only 16% of the Samsung’s smartphone sales in April 2014.

Neil Shah, Research Director with Counterpoint said, ‘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. 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.’

Adding further comments, Peter Richardson Research Director with Counterpoint said. ‘The Samsung Galaxy S6 series has a chance to become the top selling smartphone overtaking Apple’s iPhone 6 series, if production issues are solved. However the window of opportunity to do so is short as consumers don’t have much patience in a market with many alternatives. Nevertheless, we still believe Galaxy S6 is on its way to achieve 50 million unit sales by the end of this year.’

The Galaxy S6 series is mostly cannibalizing other Android phones, including Samsung’s other flagship models. The Galaxy S5 sales dropped sharply compared to March. This was expected but the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy A-series were also affected as sales dropped between 30% and 40%. This is a concern as Samsung’s overall market share is not growing despite the relatively successful launch of the Galaxy S6 in April.

On the other hand, Apple’s iPhone 6 series continued to generate healthy demand topping the list of world’s best-selling smartphones in April 2015. Apple iPhone 6 series volumes were 51% higher compared to last year’s iPhone 5s & 5c volumes combined.

Xiaomi’s Redmi 2 is the No. 5 bestseller as it is the worthy successor of the most popular Redmi and the Redmi Note is also listed as the No.9 bestseller as it continues its progress in the phablet market.

Microsoft’s Lumia 435 entered the top 10 list for the first time during April as it saw healthy demand in key prepaid markets globally.

Just outside of the top 10 list were the phablets Motorola’s Nexus 6, Huawei Mate 7 followed by Xiaomi Mi 4.

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

(table source: Monthly Market Pulse May 2015 edition)

* Mobile Phone sell through sales only (intra channel, not shipments). Tablets, PCs, dongles, fixed wireless devices not included. All regional or minor hardware variations included in each model.

Our Monthly Market Pulse market share data is based on sell through (channel sales) surveyed at major mass retailers, distributors across different markets (39 countries) by Counterpoint Research team plus sanity checked with demand side surveys & expert Analyst estimates to complete the global monthly sales database

Market Monitor : Q1 2015 : Smartphone Brands Market Share By US Carriers

According to latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor quarterly tracker program, USA smartphone market crossed 40 million units at the end of Q1 2015 compared to 33 million units shipped in Q1 2014 last year.

  • The USA smartphone market grew a healthy 23% annually back to the 2011 levels
  • The demand was stimulated by accelerated replacement rates thanks to device installment + early upgrade plans and pent up demand for the new Apple iPhone 6 series
  • 9 out of 10 mobile phones shipped during the quarter were smartphones
  • More than 85% of the smartphones shipped were LTE capable
  • Apple was the top smartphone supplier by a wider margin with strong demand for its iPhones carried forward into first quarter coming from strong holiday season
  • One in three smartphones shipped in USA was an iPhone
  • Apple & Samsung together captured more than 60% of the total smartphone share and 70% of LTE smartphones share
  • Samsung smartphone share sin Q1 2015 was down 5% points compared to last year while LG almost doubled its smartphone share in USA market with greater shelf-share across all the carriers cementing its third spot in USA
  • LG, ZTE and TCL-Alcatel were the star performers growing faster than the market capturing share away from Samsung, Kyocera, Pantech and HTC during the quarter
  • ZTE was the number four smartphone brand closely followed by TCL-Alcatel as both the Chinese brands are carrier’s preferred low-cost manufacturers with strong traction in prepaid segment
  • In terms of in-carrier share for the brands, Apple dominated at all of the top four carriers capturing more than 40% of Verizon & AT&T’s smartphone shipments and more than a third of smartphone shipments at T-Mobile & Sprint respectively
  • T-Mobile (with MetroPCS) is now the second largest smartphone carrier buying more than 8 million units surpassing AT&T  and Sprint platforms.
  • Aggressive #Uncarrier tactics by T-Mobile continues to stimulate smartphone demand buying lot of phones from the suppliers during the quarter. However, we caution there might be some inventory at the end of Q1 2015 at T-Mobile
  • The growth in US smartphone market is good news for the overall industry as consumers are now buying more smartphones than last year, opens up opportunities for more brands such as OnePlus, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Meizu, Asus and others to make hay when the sun shines
  • In coming quarters, as carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T promote more BYOD type subscribers, could stimulate open market unlocked devices sold through e-commerce channels. Players such as OnePlus, TCL-Alcatel have already launched smartphones with decent specs at highly affordable and competitive price points through open channels and we believe players such as Xiaomi also doing the same in future would drive smartphone growth
  • According to our latest Monthly Market Pulse report, the launch of Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge in US in April has been decent and the sell-through has been much better than the Galaxy S5 last year which will be an important factor to drive the growth and share for Samsung in Q2 2015.
  • But it remains to be seen if Samsung can sustain the initial momentum in April with upcoming LG G4 launch and the new iPhone launches in Q3 later this year

US Q1 2015 Smartphone Share By Carriers - Counterpoint Research.jpg

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Market Monitor : Q1 2015 : Handset & Smartphones India

According to the latest research from Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service, for Q1 2015 (Jan-March), the overall India mobile phone market  declined of 3% Y/Y and Q/Q decline of 15%. However, the smartphone segment registered an Y/Y increase of 21% though Q/Q decline of 8%. Feature phone segment also saw a sharp decline with shipment volumes down 13% Y/Y and 19% Q/Q. This is the second consecutive quarter where total mobile phone shipments in India registered a decline.

The following are the key findings from the Counterpoint Research analysis of the competitive environment in India in 1Q 2015:

  • The overall India mobile phone market declined by 3% Y/Y and 15% sequentially on account of seasonality and low sell-in during the quarter
  • India remains the third largest smartphone market in the world and during 1Q 2015 shipped almost twice as many smartphones as shipped in Japan
  • Smartphone shipments saw a Y/Y increase of 21% and a Q/Q decline of 8%. Smartphones contributed close to 37% of the overall shipments in 1Q 2015
  • Samsung led the overall mobile phone market and the smartphone segment during the quarter with market shares of 18.2% and 27.8% respectively
  • Samsung has used its distribution prowess to sell-in during the quarter as it executed aggressive smartphone launches during the quarter including the Tizen-based Z1
  • Micromax maintained the second position in both overall mobile phone market and the smartphone segment, but it registered steep decline as the overall mobile phone shipments down 28% Q/Q and the smartphone shipments down 26% Q/Q
  • Micromax’s new brand Yureka with the launch of its first Cyanogen powered LTE smartphone Yu started off well, but will need more models across price-bands to match the scale of Xiaomi and Motorola – both of which remained aggressive introducing new models during the quarter
  • Continuing its momentum from Q4 2014, Intex retained its position among the top five vendors both in overall handset and smartphone rankings, capturing slightly under 9% of the overall market during the quarter. Demand for Intex products in the sub-$100 smartphone price band remains strong
  • Lava excluding its sub-brand Xolo was also among the top five vendors in both overall mobile phone and the smartphone segment. The Lava IRIS series, especially the X1 smartphone, did well to put Lava marginally ahead of Lenovo-Motorola and thereby capturing the market’s 4th position.
  • Lenovo** raced to fifth position, primarily due to acquisition of Motorola, together capturing almost 5% of the Indian smartphone market during the quarter.
  • Although Xiaomi smartphone shipments declined during the quarter the vendor managed to be among the leading 4G smartphone brands during the quarter, thanks to brisk sales of Mi Note 4G and Redmi 2 4G
  • Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone shipments remained strong during the quarter thanks to its strong marketing push and enticing schemes such as buybacks and more. The Cupertino-based vendor is only a few thousand units short of achieving a land mark feat of crossing 1 million unit sales in the six months of its fiscal year since Oct 2014. An achievement that it took almost twelve months to manage in its last financial year.
  • Microsoft Lumia shipments however were not affected by the weaker seasonality factor and grew by almost 20% thanks to a solid performance by its mid-segment Lumia portfolio – especially the Lumia 535
  • India joins the countries in Europe like Italy, France and others where Microsoft Lumia traction is going strongly.
  • There has been significant push by Indian government for “Make in India”, and it seems like almost every of the top 10 mobile phone player has expressed their intentions toward setting up a manufacturing plant in India. However, we believe the real “Make in India” developments are still a good 12-18 months away due to the lack of component suppliers’ ecosystem. Players like Samsung & Micromax which are already assembling phones in India are well positioned to take advantage of early moves to local manufacturing as compared to other players


Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q1 2015 Report
Source: Counterpoint Research Market Monitor Q1 2015 Report
** Lenovo (Includes Motorola) in Q1 2015 & Q4 2014 but not in Q1 2014

The comprehensive and in-depth Q1 2015 Market Monitor is available for subscribing clients. Please feel free to contact us at analyst [@] counterpointresearch . com for further questions regarding our in-depth latest research, insights or press enquiries.

Top 10 Smartphones sold Globally During Sep 2014

Apple’s iPhone 6 immediately rose to the top of the list during September despite the fact that it was only available after September 19th. The iPhone 6 narrowly beat Samsung’s Galaxy 5 with just a 17% difference in sales numbers.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has been the first runner up consistently for over 5 months. It was almost about to beat the year old iPhone 5S but then this month, the iPhone 6 has come storming in. It will be hard to change the downward trend of the Galaxy S5 as the price is already quite moderate compared to the price erosion curve of previous models like the Galaxy S4 and S3. Samsung’s Note III and Galaxy S4 are also int eh top 10 list. But it Apple which has the most.

Xiaomi has two models in the top 10 list, the Mi 3 and Redmi Note. The long time bestseller Redmi 1S is just outside the list as it has proved to be a hit in its newly entered markets such as India. With the Mi 4 slowly growing in volume it looks like Xiaomi has enough fuel to last till the year end of 2014.

Motorola’s Moto G has entered the top 10 list for the first time as it has been a bestseller in every major Emerging Market. It is close to the end of its life cycle. So it will be interesting to see if its successors will have similar popularity.

Just outside the top 10 is the LG G3 which has been the hero for LG helping it return to profitability in the third quarter of 2014. Huawei’s Honor 6 and P7 are also contenders as well as the Galaxy S5 mini.

Top 10 smartphone* list for Sep 2014
Rank Brand Model Category
1 Apple iPhone 6 smartphone
2 Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone
3 Apple iPhone 5S smartphone
4 Samsung Note 3 smartphone
5 Apple iPhone 6 Plus smartphone
6 Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone
7 Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone
8 Xiaomi Redmi Note smartphone
9 Apple iPhone 5C smartphone
10 Motorola Moto G smartphone

(table source: Monthly Market Pulse September 2014)

* Mobile Phone sales only (not shipments). Tablets, PCs, dongles, fixed wireless devices not included. All regional or minor hardware variations included in each model.

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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in Technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology firms and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high tech industry.

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