Galaxy S7 overtakes iPhone 6s in the US
The Galaxy S7 and its edge sibling, the Galaxy S7 edge, have been selling well, with analysts claiming that Samsung has already sold well in the ballpark of 25 million units of its latest flagship so far this year (in just a matter of 4 months). Analysts expect Samsung to reach at least 40 million sales by the end of 2016, if not double their current units sold to 50 million, and this indicates that the Korean giant has found a winner in its latest devices. As is always the case between Samsung and its American rival, Apple Inc., the two companies compete for sales and brand loyalty while their customers compete for bragging rights. While Samsung has sold 25 million units of the Galaxy S7 series, some may need something extra by which to put this number into perspective.
A new report shows that Samsung’s Galaxy S7 has done well enough for the Korean giant to unseat Apple in its own backyard in the US. Kantar Worldpanel says that “Starting with the US, in the three months ending May 2016, Samsung accounted for 37% of smartphone sales and Apple 29%. However, sales of their respective flagship models reveal a much closer competition, with the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge accounting for 16% of sales and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus at 14.6%.” While this gives Samsung fans some measure of bragging rights, this doesn’t change the fact that Apple fans are still more loyal than Samsung ones (88% vs. 86%).
The Galaxy S7 sits atop the American landscape in smartphone sales because it really is something worth bragging about. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have nothing more than a 1080p screen resolution, which Samsung had on the Galaxy Note 3 (2013), Galaxy S4 (2013), and Galaxy S5 (2014). Samsung has implemented Quad HD (1440p resolution) into its devices since the introduction of the Galaxy Note 4 in 2014. Not only has Samsung implemented Quad HD resolution; it has also utilized AMOLED panels which are not only light-emitting and save battery life but also provide the punchy, oversaturated colors that make movies, videos, photos, and game graphics come to life in a way that HD (or lower) resolutions do not. Keep in mind that, apart from the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s/6s Plus, Apple has been offering sub-HD screen resolutions in its iPhones.
Apart from displays and resolutions, Apple has really done little else to set itself apart. The company has implemented a 5MP front camera and 12MP back camera with 4K video recording, but little else. Samsung has taken its build quality to an entirely new level but also added faster flash storage and wireless charging while still maintaining the type of build quality many would find desirable. In 2016, it still takes the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus between 2-3 hours to charge; in contrast, the Galaxy Note 5 can charge from 0 to 100 in just 81 minutes. If you take advantage of the Note 5’s wireless charging, you can wirelessly charge your Note 5 (apart from the wire) in the same time that it takes Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to charge on the wire. Wireless charging is the better technology, and when it can fully charge a phone in the same time that wired charging can (because Apple has no fast charging mechanism of any kind), then it’s time for Apple to make a drastic change.
At the same time, while Samsung has something worth celebrating (in that it’s overtaken Apple in the US), the report seems to prove grim for the Korean giant and its Cupertino rival in all other areas. In China, Samsung has fallen from its reign of 34% sales in 2014 to just 9% of all smartphone sales there in this latest quarter. Samsung is still sitting atop smartphone sales in India, despite facing competition from local rivals Micromax and Xiaomi. Apple is working on gaining a stronghold in India, seeing that it too, is facing decline in smartphone sales in the US and realizing that American smartphone saturation has long peaked.
Kantar says that the Apple vs. Samsung battle is over, but that isn’t believable for one reason: Kantar and other analysts and analytical firms continue to write about them and give them the center spotlight in headline news. Though Kantar’s point regarding sales and profit isn’t without merit, it isn’t entirely the case that the Apple vs. Samsung war will stop raging — at least for the foreseeable future.