By Cho Mu-hyun
Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, said Friday that global sales of its Galaxy smartphone series — Galaxy S and S2 — had surpassed 50 million.
“Selling 50 million is a milestone that indicates the rise and competitiveness of Samsung products on the world stage,” said a spokesman. “For this year, we aim to double our sales over 2011.”
The Korean firm has been dominating the domestic market, but backed by the stellar sales of the Galaxy series of smartphones, has now become a leader in global sales as well.
Samsung had a 29.1 percent share of the global market for the first quarter of this year, the first time it topped rival Apple’s 24.2 percent, according to International Data Corporation. Strategy Analytics says the company sold 92.5 million handsets in the same period.
In the domestic arena, Samsung has been dominating rivals LG Electronics and Pantech, and holds 53 percent based on its internal statistics. Though the Suwon-based firm’s Korean rivals release different percentages, they are in agreement that Samsung is leading the smartphone market. In Korea, a total of 20 million smartphones were sold last year.
As of June 1, the Korean firm has sold 24 million Galaxy Ss, and 28 million Galaxy S2s. The combined sales of the two smartphones alone is double that of the domestic market size. Samsung has also sold 7 million Galaxy Notes since its release.
The Galaxy S was released on June, 2010 and has been a steady seller. The Galaxy S2 broke the company record in handset sales with the company selling 10 million within 5 months of its release in April, 2011.
The firm’s most recent release Galaxy S3, which went on sale Tuesday in 28 countries and will be available in Korea from mid-June, is also showing signs of becoming a certified hit. According to Samsung officials, the firm received pre-orders for 10 million phones, over three times the 3 million for the Galaxy S2.
“Just like the Galaxy S2 sales topped the sales of its predecessor, we believe the Galaxy S3 will also have greater sales,” said the spokesman.
“Considering the current market atmosphere, the company can expect to sell 30 million Galaxy S3s this year alone,” Kim Uoon-ho, an analyst at Hanwha Securities, told The Korea Times over the phone. “The new release will keep Samsung atop in the global market
until its next new product. The sales number will be very high until then.”
A report by Kim released Thursday said that the launching of S3 will greatly boost the revenue of Samsung in 2012: Kim expects 1.89 trillion won in revenue for the second quarter this year, an 8.6 percent rise from the previous quarter. “The boost in profit will increase as, compared to S2, the S3 has a 30 percent larger MLCC (multi layer chip capacity). Its FC-CSP (flip chip - chip scale package) will increase from 400 to something in between 500 and 600, which will keep prices high for the product.” The revenue will continue in the near 2 trillion won range, he said.
Because more parts are put into the new handset compared to earlier models, Samsung will keep its revenue high, even when taking a 5 percent decrease in sales price per quarter into consideration, said Kim.
“The great sales numbers reflect Samsung’s aggressive promoting overseas that catalyzed the current drive,” said Lee Seong-ju, head of Mobile Monday’s Seoul chapter. According to Lee, besides the high revenue from direct sales, the Galaxy S3 has huge potential to bring in more profits by becoming an advertisement platform.
“Samsung is developing its advertisement platform for smartphones, which will launch sometime in the second half of this year,” he said. “Nowadays, unlike in the 2G (second generation) era where sales of a product meant an end to possible profits, smartphones, besides their profit value as a handset, can be used to promote and bring the company even more revenue.”
Samsung currently has partnerships with 3,000 domestic application corporations, and its products are the platform for them to promote their apps. According to Lee, the synergy of those partnerships and Samsung’s soon-to-be released mobile platform will bring profits much higher than that from sales of phones alone.
“Today’s Samsung Electronics would have not existed if there had been no close cooperation with small and middle sized domestic firms in services, software and parts,” said an official. “We plan to strengthen Korean smartphones by continuing cooperative development with small but competitive businesses in the future.”