Samsung, the world's No. 1 mobile -phone maker, appears to have another hit device on its hands even before it goes on store shelves overseas at the end of the month.
The Galaxy S III, the latest flagship phone from the South Korean electronics giant, has already racked up 9 million pre-orders, according to a report published in a South Korean business newspaper.
The Korea Economic Daily, citing an unnamed Samsung official as its source, said the orders came from a hundred carriers and the company was producing about 5 million Galaxies per month. The phone will launch in Europe on May 29th but isn't expected in the U.S. until June. The price and wireless -carrier partners in the U.S. have not been announced.
Timing Is Good
Neil Shah, senior analyst for wireless mobile strategy at Strategy Analytics, told us the Android 4.0.4 device's reported pre-order figure is credible because of timing and past numbers.
"Considering the iPhone 4S effect is slightly fading since it launched last year and a lot of people are anticipating the iPhone 5, the Galaxy S III numbers could be very healthy," Shah said.
"Demand is going to be pretty high, considering the average selling rate for Samsung flagship devices the last two or three quarters have been between 5 million and 6 million per quarter," he said. "The Galaxy S II reached 20 million in February 2011 [after a year], which is an average of 5 million per quarter."
The company's unique Galaxy Note, a cross between a tablet and smartphone, reached 5 million units shipped in March after only four months on the market, he noted.
"If these two units can sell 6 to 7 million units per quarter and Samsung has a great distribution reach across more than 100 countries and hundreds of operators, 6 to 10 million [for the S III] sounds credible and logical," he said.
Shah said HTC's One X is a credible competitor, but since Taiwan-based HTC has been struggling financially, the company may not invest as much marketing in it as Samsung has with its Galaxy devices.
"Carriers know there has been good momentum for the Galaxy brand among consumers as well as distribution," he said. "There is pent-up demand for Galaxy phones. While it does not have a 'wow' factor in design compared to the One X or [Nokia] Lumia 900, it does have great specs."
The Galaxy S III is 4G LTE capable and has a 1.4-GHz quad-core processor , a 4.8-inch super AMOLED screen with 720x1280 display, 1 GB of memory and an 8-megapixel camera capable of 1080p high-definition video.
First-quarter reports showed that Samsung for the first time edged out Nokia as the world's top-selling handset maker. Gartner research said Samsung sold 20.7 percent of the world's phones in the quarter, while Nokia's share slipped to 19.8 percent.