Samsung managed to steal a bit of the thunder from Motorola and Nokia press conferences yesterday by revealing their sales figures for the Samsung Galaxy S III. In a week where Amazon and Apple are also preparing for major launches of new products, Samsung have revealed that they managed to get their foot in the door early with the super-smartphone the Galaxy S III.
This top of the range handset sold 20m units in its first hundred days on the market. Admittedly, that’s nothing on last year’s launch of the iPhone 4S, which sold 4m in its first weekend alone. Nevertheless, it does put into some perspective the fact that Nokia sold just 7m Lumia phones in the nine months from October 2011 – that’s not just one handset, that’s their entire Lumia range.
Lumia Windows Phone
That’s why at their press conference in September this year, when they launched the new Windows Phone 8 Lumia phones, there was a slightly desperate air of anticipation. They need their new range to be good. Actually, very good, because that’s the only way that they can hope to have a go at achieving these kind of sales. The S3 has already taken a large chunk out of the available high end smartphone market. you’d think that there would come a point where smartphone sales plateaux and it’s a point that can’t be too far off now. Samsung note that they sold three times as many S3s in it’s first hundred days as the S2. This was itself far better than the original Galaxy S, which sold just 3.3m units in its first hundred days.
The next quarter is going to be an important one for all of these companies involved in the smartphone war. Some analysts (like Gene Munster) are expecting the iPhone 5 to sell up to 10m in its first weekend, making the Galaxy S2’s figures redundant in just 14 days. Seeing as the 4S was more evolutionary than revolutionary, many people ended up skipping that release. That means there’s going to be plenty of people with two year old iPhones looking for a big new upgrade. This could be the one to capture that market. apart from that though, the iPhone 5 doesn’t seem like its going to win many converts. If you already like Apple, then you probably own an iPhone. If you don’t, then this one probably isn’t going to win you round.
Let Battle Commence
But it is an uphill battle against the established marketing might of Samsung and Apple. Nokia’s phones aren’t all that bad, but their sales predictions do look pretty bad. One Finnish paper, Kauppalehti estimates Lumia sales of 25m over the next twelve months. With the might of Microsoft behind it though, and Samsung taking a fair chunk of the high end market it is entirely possible that the new iPhone won’t manage to double its sales over the period. There will always be growth room in the smartphone market but unless the new iPhone 5 is significantly better than before, then it might be the first generation that people just shrug at. We’ve seen it all before.
Ollie Sheerin writes about phones, gadgets and the tech industry. When I’m not doing this for fun I help promote T Mobile Sim Only Deals