In March we posted a report titled "Samsung to Hold Unprecedented Event in their Korean Stores in a Desperate Attempt to match iPhone 6 Mania." That event didn't go over as expected and yet Samsung continued to over-hype their Galaxy S6 and its forecast of selling 50 million units in 2015. Looking back a year ago when Samsung was over-hyping their new S5, we posted a report about that titled "In Truth, the Success of the Galaxy S5 is Greatly Exaggerated." The media was in Samsung's back pocket hyping the sales of the Galaxy S5 and yet in the end, Samsung's S5 was a dud as we had continually preached. Now with Samsung doing summersaults and exaggerating in their magic shows, we're beginning to hear from Korea's press no less, that the Galaxy S6 isn't performing as hoped for.
According to a new Korean press report today, "Samsung Electronics Co.'s newest high-end smartphones - the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge -- are seen drawing less than expected attention from consumers, industry data showed Wednesday, casting clouds over the market's upbeat sales estimate of over 50 million units for 2015.
South Korea's No. 1 tech giant had sold a little over 200,000 units of the two smartphones here as of Sunday since their launch on April 10, sharply falling short of the 300,000 pre-orders, according to the data, indicating that earlier sales forecasts may be exaggerated.
The Galaxy S6 boasts the industry's first wireless-charging batteries. The offbeat Galaxy S6 Edge also has been grabbing the market's attention with the industry's first screen that is curved at both ends.
The report further noted that "some industry watchers say the 10-day sales figure is not alarming, given that South Korea's already saturated smartphone market is currently dented by the country's regulations on subsidies." We covered this issue back in March in a report titled "Apple's iPhone Success has rocked the Korean Smartphone Industry into Pure Hysteria." Korea's regulators want to fix the subsidies to favor local brands like Samsung over foreign brands like Apple.
The Korean report then quoted a Korean handset retailer saying "We expect sales will improve soon, as the mobile carriers decided to increase subsidies on the Galaxy S6 series." Is that the only way that Samsung could win on their home turf, with bigger subsidies? What about their so-called superior S6 specifications?
In the end, even though Samsung-leaning analysts are saying that the first "10-day sales figure is not alarming," believe me, it's alarming. The excuse that the market is saturated is simply "untruthful" (to be polite). Is Samsung's Galaxy S6 going to be another dud? Only time will tell, but the first key 10 days show that Samsung may be in trouble again.
Follow-up Note, April 23, 2015: In Early April, the Business Korea news site had already reported that the pre-orders for Korea had surpassed 300,000 units in the first week. Obviously they were given those cheery numbers from someone (think Samsung) that didn't actually pan out at all, if the latest research report is accurate.