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Samsung Crisis: Galaxy S5 Has Not Matched S4 Sales

News by Luke Jones on Monday November 24, 2014.

samsung galaxy s5 · samsung news · android news · smartphone news · luke jones

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Galaxy S5
Galaxy S5

Even the most diehard of Apple fan should know that the iPhone is not head and shoulders better than any other smartphone. We could argue the finer details sure, but what sets it apart is appeal and then in turn sales. The only other device that has been able to live with the iPhone in recent years has been the Samsung Galaxy S flagship, but much like Apple's handset, the S series device is just another smartphone when you strip away its massive success.

And in some ways, through 2014 that is exactly what has happened. It could be argued there are many better flagships on the market than the current Samsung Galaxy S5, and for the first time since this line of devices first became a hit, the S series is in trouble. The Galaxy S3 was the iPhone of Android, a device that broke barriers (and records too), it was a massive hit and sold millions. The Galaxy S4 was the evolution of that device and shifted even more units, but the S5 has failed to keep the trend going.

Perhaps the Galaxy S5 is an evolutionary step too far, and I don't mean that in a positive way. Instead of an incremental (which the GS5 is) update the range needed an overhaul, but Samsung failed to spot the danger and perhaps got complacent at the top of the Android pile. The result has been a phone that failed to live up to expectations in terms of sales and quality, so much so that Samsung is going right back to square one for the Galaxy S6.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that sales for the Galaxy S5 have slipped 40% behind expectations, while year on year against the GS4, sales are down 25%. To put that in clear black and white, the Galaxy S5 has sold a quarter fewer units than the Galaxy S4 managed through the same amount of time.

The S5 managed to sell 12 million units through three months on sale, while the Galaxy S4 managed to move 16 million units through that same time frame. The number also proves that any sales comparisons made by Samsung to the iPhone are totally false, Apple's device managed that number in one week. However, throughout 2014 it has become increasingly clear that Samsung is no longer fighting it out with Apple, but is instead looking over its shoulder to Xiaomi and even compatriot LG.

Xiaomi has hit Samsung hard in China, taking mid and low range business from the company, while LG, Apple, and a slew of others are hurting the company at the flagship level. In China sales have dropped by 50% for the S5 compared to the Galaxy S4. It?s a popular theory that Samsung can ultimately ride these problems and emerge stronger, it is not a theory I necessarily disagree with. However, the more problems the company finds, the harder it seems to be to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

A change of personnel often signifies that things are getting to crisis point, so reports that Samsung's head of mobile and co-CEO is set to be relieved of his duties could prove telling. The Journal reports:

In one scenario under discussion, co-chief executive and mobile head J.K. Shin -who had presided over Samsung's rapid ascent as well as its recent tumble in smartphones-could be moved out of his role overseeing the mobile division, these people said. That could mean Mr. Shin, 58 years old, loses his co-CEO role, one of these people said.

source: Wall Street Journal

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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