13 Comments

Summary:

Just before the Galaxy S2 goes head-to-head with Apple’s next iPhone model in the U.S., Samsung announced global sales of 5 million units in only 55 days. The smartphones are actually accelerating, making it the fastest-selling smartphone yet for Samsung. Who will win the war?

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Samsung has sold 5 million Galaxy S II (GS2) smartphones in 85 days, making it the fastest-selling handset in the company’s history. According to Samsung’s figures, the device sales are actually accelerating as the phone debuts on more carriers around the world. It took 55 days for Samsung to sell the first 3 million GS2s around the world, so in the past 30 days, another 2 million customers purchased the handset. With more countries waiting for the high-end smartphone, including the U.S. (which has a high smartphone adoption rate), Samsung estimates 10 million sales within seven months of the phone’s retail debut in May of this year.

What’s driving sales of the GS2? Although the Google Android smartphone doesn’t have every possible cutting-edge feature, it comes close. The 4.3-inch screen resolution is only 800×480, for example (lower than the iPhone and newer Android devices), but compensates with Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus technology for bright, vivid colors. Samsung’s new 1.2 GHz dual-core processor powers the phone, and early reviews say it’s one of the fastest smartphones available today. The 8-megapixel rear camera with auto-focus supports 1080p video recording. And some models include a near-field communication (NFC) chip, which could be used for mobile payments through Google Wallet.

On the software side, Samsung has refreshed its pleasing interface, known as TouchWiz, to hide some of the blandness of Android in its vanilla state. Samsung has also developed its own media ecosystem. The GS2, for example, can rent movies, buy music or purchase e-books directly through Samsung’s own media hubs, which are pre-installed on the smartphone.  It’s worth noting that Samsung’s user interface, along with the overall look of the phone, is why Apple sued Samsung in April. That case is ongoing, and not likely to be resolved this year unless the two parties settle out of court.

Although Apple and Samsung are fighting in court, a real war looks to be shaping up between the two in the U.S. over the next few months. Apple is expected to announce and begin selling the next iPhone, which is sure to be the first with a dual-core chip, in addition to other improvements. At roughly the same time, U.S carriers will likely introduce their own versions of Samsung’s Galaxy S II, making for a head-to-head battle when it comes to smartphone sales.

For some consumers, this will be an easy choice: If they want iOS, they buy an iPhone; if Android can meet their needs, the GS2 is a top contender. But other, non-platform factors will be in the mix. AT&T is rumored to be launching a Galaxy S II with a hardware keyboard, which could appeal to some as a differentiating and desirable feature not offered by Apple. And unless Apple builds an iPhone that works on either T-Mobile’s or Sprint’s networks, those carriers’ customers have no iPhone to even consider, making the GS2 even more appealing.

While the entire smartphone market is worth watching, the war between the next iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S II has my full attention. Samsung has taken a very Apple-like approach with the Galaxy lineup, and it has reaped great rewards; the company was essentially neck-and-neck with Apple in terms of sales for the last quarter, with both companies dethroning Nokia. I’m sure the next iPhone will impress — the new iOS 5 software alone has already impressed me personally, and I’m an Android owner — but the Galaxy S2 is shaping up to be the key to Samsung becoming the smartphone king of the world.

  1. Lucian Armasu Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Samsung is on a roll lately. They’ll soon dethrone Nokia not only in smartphones, but overall phone sales, too (next year perhaps?), but that wouldn’t interest me if they weren’t improving the quality of their products, too. Samsung is starting to have some of the highest quality products around, where it’s TV’s (old news), phones, tablets and even laptops. So I think their growth is well deserved so far.

    As for iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S2, well I’m not sure which will win. Samsung looks like it will have a big launch in USA, with 2 models on AT&T, with and without physical keyboard, with WiMax on Sprint, and hopefully LTE on Verizon. Still, it’s usually very hard to beat Apple’s iPhone “launches”, especially if you’ll count the upcoming cheaper model into those sales of “iPhones”.

    1. Agreed, although some find the plastic Samsung phones to feel cheap. I can understand that, but they’re generally durable in my opinion and light.

  2. Fake DarrinSearancke Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Why would you buy anything but an iPhone? I don’t understand…

    1. My number one issue is not wanting to use iTunes, which I can’t stand.

  3. been using an unlocked S2 prototype my roommate got a hold of…I have to say the phone is blazing fast and probably the first phone in 3 years I would seriously consider an iPhone(latest gen) worthy competitor…really interested to see how the Apple vs Samsung battle plays out. I would think Apple delayed gen 5 release of the iPhone just to make sure it could compete with the S2

  4. myonlinelifenow Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    I know this is going to sound like a tired answer but Apple VS Samsung… who really cares? I mean unless you have stock in the company aren’t the real winners going to be the consumers that actually by the device? If it works the way you want it, plays the games, the apps, heck makes the calls you want it’s all good. Both companies are making a profit and looks like there is tons of room for smart phones to grow so I’m just saying..is the “Vs” story line really that important.

    Just my two cents

  5. when compare to iPhone and Samsung GS2 i would like to rate iPhone becauz of its excellent graphics

  6. 最终冰器红豆 Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    The same question: it is sales figure or shipment?

    1. According to the translation it was sales, not shipments. I’ll see if I can get official clarification and update.

  7. Front Side Bus – Technology and Gadget News Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    I guess we now know where all those android activations are coming from.

    1. Not really. Google activates 5 million devices in just 9 days based on their current rate. Samsung is clearly helping in a big way, but doesn’t even come close to all of the Android activations from HTC, LG, Motorola, etc….

  8. Cristian Cocos Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    At current specs, this phone arrives much too late in the US, esp. with the next iPhone just around the corner. Samsung better make sure they bump up the specs (1.5GHz, higher resolution screen etc.), otherwise I don’t see the S2 making waves.

  9. The selling of Samsung Galaxy S2 will be more faster because of 4G LTE. Samsung and other Comapany prepare to launching 4G LTE smartphones. So that Galaxy S2 is going to cheaper in korea. It’s not related Galaxy’s function, It’s because of the market. Here is a review of Galaxy S2 – The Strength of Galaxy S2′s Fast Web Surfing is the Hidden Optimization! (http://bit.ly/r7pgcd )

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