Samsung shipped more than 8 million Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones in the first four weeks after launch, while Apple’s iPhone X toiled in the first quarter of 2018, research company Canalys said.
The South Korean electronics maker, which unveiled the S9 series at this year’s Mobile World Congress, stated this month it is expecting a record profit for Q1, partly down to strong sales of its latest flagship.
Canalys said there was a “much greater percentage of shipments” for the S9+ model, compared with the S8 series, which was due to the dual cameras of the S9+ which are lacking on the cheaper S9.
However, while the S9 series fared well, it failed to surpass the 9 million shipments achievements by the S7 series which launched in March 2016. Nevertheless, Canalys analyst Ben Stanton said the S9’s performance was impressive, considering the device “is not a major step up from the S8”.
“Samsung has made significant improvements to its go-to-market strategy, with wider availability in more markets at launch,” he said.
“It has also engineered upgrades by providing an aggressive global service trade-in programme, with generous discounts to reduce costs to end users.”
iPhone X demand slows
While the S9 thrived, Apple’s iPhone X had “a disappointing quarter”, with shipments of less than 14 million units in Q1 2018 compared with 29 million in Q4 2017.
TuanAnh Nguyen, analyst at Canalys, said the iPhone X’s performance was a clear indication “of the challenges that premium smartphones now face”.
“The novelty of premium smartphones is wearing off, and features such as 18:9 displays and dual cameras are being commoditised quickly to average selling price.”