Samsung has been remarkably quiet about its Galaxy S4 sales since they announced 20 million units shipped back in early July. And now we know why.
Galaxy S4 is now selling slower than Galaxy S3 did last year.
Yesterday Samsung execs told Korean press that they have now shipped 40 million units of Galaxy S4. Which is still a very impressive number, and, at first glance looks significantly better than 30 million Galaxy S3s Samsung managed to ship in about the same time, last year.
But if you factor in the previous Galaxy S4 data points, the picture changes. Samsung announced that they have shipped the first 10 million of SGS4s on May 22nd. A milestone achieved almost twice as fast as with Galaxy S3. However, shipping another 30 million Galaxy S4s to get to 40 million units shipped, now took Samsung 154 days. It took them 157 days to ship the first 30 million Galaxy S3s.
And it gets worse.
In late June/early July, Samsung announced that they have sold 20 million Galaxy S4s into the channel. We don’t have the exact date, so lets assume it was July 1st. Which means that it took 114 days for Samsung to ship another 20 million Galaxy S4s to get to 40 million units today. It took them only 107 days to go from 10 million to 30 million of Galaxy S3s last year. Which means that after the initial late spring/early summer demand surge, Galaxy S4 is now selling slower than S3 did in 2013.
So what does it mean for the future of Galaxy S4?
It took Samsung additional 170 days to ship the next 20 million of Galaxy S3s between November 2012 and April 2013, when the new SGS4 launched. During the period that included Holiday Shopping Season in the West, and New Year Gift Giving in China. With S4 sales already lower than last year’s flagship, there’s absolutely no reason to think it will do better. So Sammy’s goal for 100 million Galaxy S4s during its lifetime as a flagship, so confidently predicted back in April, is no longer achievable, unless they initiate some serious price war. As things stand today, Samsung will be lucky to ship 50 million Galaxy S4s this year, and 60 million by the April 2014.