Report: Galaxy S5 outsold iPhone 5S on launch weekend (but does it mean anything?)

Word on the wire is that Samsung’s 2014 flagship did better on its opening weekend than Apple’s iPhone 5S did on its respective launch. That word comes from IQMetrix, whose study was based on sample data from over 15,000 retail locations in North America.

According to them, the Samsung Galaxy S5 accounted for 25% and 18% of all total phones sold in the US and Canada respectively on its global launch weekend of April 11th through the 13th, 2014. The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, did 18% and 13% in those same areas.

galaxy s5 vs iphone 5s sales

One might quickly come to the conclusion that the Samsung Galaxy S5 completely “pwns” the iPhone 5S, but there’s a bit to be said about these numbers. For starters, the two devices launched six months apart. Six months is a long time in the consumer tech market, and with changing seasons come changing demands.

Of course, the iPhone 5S launching at the edge of the start of the holiday season versus the Spring launch of the Galaxy S5 might lead you to believe that the iPhone 5S is simply weak — holiday sales should be stronger by default, no?

This detour from typical trends could be explained by the upgrade cycles each fanbase is tied to. The feeling is that there are more iPhone owners on the original two-year upgrade path going from the original iPhone, to the iPhone 3G, to the iPhone 4, and then on to the iPhone 5.

gs5-iphone5s-hero

Likewise, Samsung likely has more people on their original bi-yearly upgrade cycle, from the Samsung Galaxy S, to the Samsung Galaxy S3, then on to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Such a path would indicate more Samsung Galaxy fans were looking to upgrade to a Galaxy S5 this year vs more iPhone fans looking to go for a 5S.

Of course, recent changes to carriers’ early upgrade options might have had a hand in changing the scale, but there’s no way to tell what the numbers look like without any hard data from carriers.

Something else that could explain this victory for Samsung? Perhaps it’s because this is the first time they’ve had a true simultaneous global launch. Apple has been doing it since the beginning of time, but this is Samsung’s first time launching around the globe on the same day.

Samsung hasn’t even been able to launch on all carriers in the US on the same exact day before the Galaxy S5, so one could argue they’ve had the potential to match or exceed iPhone’s opening day numbers all along. After all, Android devices have outsold iOS devices by a large number across the globe, and Samsung sits atop that Android totem pole with a lead wider than the Grand Canyon.

Speculation is speculation, though, and numbers can tell any story you want them to if they aren’t backed up by hard data from the horses’ mouths. That said, we doubt Samsung is going to be pulling teeth trying to validate this success — they’re happy to have it no matter how they got it. Read the full infographic at the jump.

[via IQMetrix]

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  • Michael Taylor

    Doesn’t mean a thing except that Sammy has a Helluva marketing team and a lot of money to throw at it. Good to see apple in second place for a change though. Hopefully people are coming over to the green side.

    • JosephLagalla

      The grass really is greener

      • Michael Taylor

        Yessir, my fiance just got her first Android phone (m8) and she’s in love. The transition took some time coming from ios, but I told her to be patient and she would soon realize why I love Android so much more.

    • Thomas Jefferson II

      I just wish they’d come somewhere besides Samsung. Nexus, HTC, Moto, OnePlus…

    • Martin Lane

      HTC and Sony are advertising just as much. HTC a lot more over the last year even compared to Samsung.

      • malcmilli

        not true, also its not just about simple marketing, its about good marketing, and samsung is very very good at marketing… and that’s a compliment not a knock.

        • Martin Lane

          Yes, it is true actually. I’ve seen HTC advertised far more than anybody else over the last year. :)

          All the mobile adverts make me cringe anyway, so i’m not really in a position to say whose is better.

          • malcmilli

            maybe you are right on your end, i personally havent seen many htc m7 commercials very much at all. I saw that Robert downy junior commercial and that was it, they are advertising the m8 much more over this past month or so and that’s good.

            But even so, once you establish a brand you dont have to advertise as much. For example, now everyone knows samsung and galaxy series because of its gs3 campaign, which i loved. Apple, Nike, etc have an established track record where don’t dont have to launch full fledged gorilla advertising campaigns. It’s like Cheers, everybody knows their name… even my grandmother.

          • Martin Lane

            It’s not just commercials, HTC are sponsoring major sporting events with the HTC brand pretty in your face constantly every week. It’s a little annoying to be honest.

          • malcmilli

            i see the same from samsung sponsoring the olympics, the nba , the oscars, presidential selflies, celebrity endorsements, etc. I see em everywhere. I’m glad HTC is finally trying to catch up, but they still have a long way to go.

          • On2Vegas

            I agree with malcmilli. Perhaps in your market area you see more, but where I live Samsung outdoes everyone in advertising. HTC just recently has made some noise with the release of the M8.

  • Martin Lane

    USA is just one Country, so no it doesn’t mean anything, maybe if it continued for a few months it might as show a changing trend.

    But I doubt it, the US loves it’s iPhones. I suppose it’s like supporting the home team for many.

    • Dr. Phat

      Apple fanboys always spout off USA numbers like it represents the world.

      • barondebxl

        The US is a HUGE market. If you win in the US you win, period.

        • Martin Lane

          China is the biggest market.

          • barondebxl

            Yes it is. But the US has a huge market.

          • StraightEdgeNexus

            US= high profit margins

      • Durin123

        Very true. I’m sorry, I can’t hear you (Apple fanboys) over the sound of European and Asian markets (over 2 billion people) buying way more Android devices than Apple ones.

    • Foramex

      The fact most Americans stay with the same, expensive, non-spohisticated in a bad way, never-really-changing fits-my-grandmother phone doesn’t tell good about the US.

      • Durin123

        Agreed. I’ve seen a Galaxy S2 in action and I honestly can’t see why you would have chosen the iPhone 4 over it back in the day. iOS is a static, rigid system while Android has limitless potential for users.

      • Durin123

        The iPhone was the first smartphone that looked really cool and functioned well (compared to what came before) with admittedly fast and easy-to-use software. That being said it hasn’t been the best device out there for at least 3 years (if it ever was).

    • Prasad Tiruvalluri

      Let us see how much US will love its iPhones once the carrier subsidies go away and they have to pay $850 for an under powered phone with too few options and a limiting OS. There is a reason iPhone is not selling well in other parts of the world and that is “Carrier Subsidies” are not there in other countries.

    • Durin123

      One country that’s obsessed with the iPhone (and until about 9 months ago) quite doubtful about Android because stubbornness and not knowing any better.

  • StraightEdgeNexus

    This is android site right why so negative, why so against sammy. Looks like htc aluminium fired up envy. Lol.

    • Martin Lane

      Glad I’m not the only one noticing this.

      • barondebxl

        Me too.

    • Durin123

      Not negative, just stating a fact. The bezel with the logo makes it look strange and the camera is wacky.

  • mattj78

    This seems like great news for Samsung but to be fair to Apple it’s a bit vague. It would be nice to have some actual figures as this doesn’t say whether it includes back orders – I haven’t heard about shortages for the S5 but the iPhone was in quite short supply at launch.

    Good news for Samsung but more details needed really.

  • jschu22

    Hello- This doesn’t mean a thing without actual devices sold figures. All that’s reported here is share, which can be very misleading (clearly, since the author has been misled quite easily). Maybe the S5 did outsell the 5S, one of them was even to me, but this report as is is just garbage.

    Share is a percentage of a particular group so if you sold 10 phones and 7 were a specific one- OMG! That phone was a a whopping 70% of phones sold! BFD.

  • Blatino

    All the Samsung hate on this site is ridiculous.

    • Martin Lane

      They can’t post anything positive about the S5 without putting a negative spin on it. It’s pathetic.

      • No_Nickname90

        It’s called not being biased. They are looking at both sides of the spectrum.

        • Martin Lane

          I don’t agree.

      • barondebxl

        I agree. Its the Samsung hatred. I love the haters cause they r butthurt.

    • Foramex

      Typical fan-boy. Contradict them, then say it’s ridiculous.

      • Blatino

        And you’re one of those “I love HTC because they have metal” fanboys right?

        • toomuchgame441

          Come at me bro! Whats your beef with people who like quality?

          • Durin123

            Nobody thinks you’re cool or badass because you say “come at me, bro”. Even if we were all in high school and 15 years old it still wouldn’t make you cool (I’m sure that deep down even you realise this).

          • Durin123

            Metal doesn’t mean it’s better quality. A strong phone case renders the debate of metal vs plastic phones quality moot. Even if you don’t use a case the metal device will show dings and broken edges/pieces more.

        • malcmilli

          the fanboy in your statement is that you keep referring to metal. Some people like HTC because its just as fast and battery last just as long and has a different user experience that they prefer and they like the design and can do 99% of the things the gs5 can do…. but it happens to feel nicer in their hands as well.

          I dont mind if samsung uses plastic, i just had an issue with the type of plastic they were using. Is it the sole reason to prevent me from ever buy a samsung device? No. I look at all flagships when they launch as potential devices for me. It’s type of plastic, as well as touchwhiz, as well home button, are just a few things that go into the con column of my list. Not the be all end all, just part of the comparison.

          • Tony Lai

            Not really metals. I just don’t like the band-aid look, useless gimmicks and the hiccups UI.

          • malcmilli

            agreed, i dont care if samsung uses metal or not i just want them to design their phone better,

        • No_Nickname90

          I prefer heavier phones, actually. Plastic is too light of a material. So what else do you expect them to use to make the device heavier?

    • barondebxl

      Its not just this site, its everywhere. When apple was climbing to the top, the hate was ridiculous. Now that Samsung is on its way to the top the hate is at an all time high. Ppl hate the number one all the time. NBA players hated Jordan. HTC fanboys should crawl back in their dark hole.

    • Durin123

      Do you mean by commentors or the authors? Or both?

      • Blatino

        Both.

  • namesib

    It means people who think virtual buttons and aluminium/glass are needed for a phone to sell are delusional.

    Yep, it’s plastic and has a physical button, again. Yep, it is outselling its predecessor and dominating the market, again. But, of course, “CHEAP PLASTIC AND OUTDATED HARDWARE BUTTONS SUCK HERP DERP”. :)

    • malcmilli

      the galaxy s5 would have sold regardless of what they released based off of success of the gs3/gs4. Same with iphone. No one is saying samsung wouldnt sell or that it is doomed…. they are saying that “Cheap plastic and hardware buttons” are just two bullet point cons on a big pro – con list

    • Jay Kresge

      It’s because most people fail to understand that companies like HTC aren’t really competing with Samsung, though HTC would like to.

      If you want a phone with a physical home button, MicroSD expansion, and a removable battery, you go Samsung. They are the ONLY option.

      If you want virtual buttons, a non-removable battery, and a 50/50 shot at expandable storage, you get: HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola, ad nauseum. Basically, there’s Samsung, and there’s everyone else. HTC is competing for the low hanging fruit.

      The first company to put a programmable home button (physical, not capacitive) but no adjacent buttons (use virtual buttons), a removable battery, and 64GB of internal storage will get my money. Until then, I have to settle for Samsung.

      • Durin123

        Cyanogenmod allows you to program your home button to a degree.

  • Foramex

    Just like the iPhone’s sales don’t disturb the fact that it’s not a good phone, same thing with the S5

    • malcmilli

      its a very good phone, just an inflexible OS..

      Edit: referring to the iphone

      • Martin Lane

        It runs Android, it’s just as flexible as any other Android device, it just looks different.

        • Michael Taylor

          But runs a little slower due to the vast amount of features.

          • Martin Lane

            That’s a myth, I swap roms often between touchwiz and Google Edition and guess what? performance is the same.

            The difference is Samsung implemented an annoying delay on some of their applications when you launch them, mainly phone, messenger and contacts which annoys allot of users, but it’s a minor issue and overall performance of the device and other applications is just fine.

            The interface lag on the Galaxy S4 was fixed with 4.4.2 believe it or not, it’s disgusting that it took them that long to address it but it’s not true that Samsung apps cause slow performance,

        • malcmilli

          i was referring to the iphone. I should have made it clear. The iphone is a good phone, the OS is just pretty inflexible.

  • Foramex

    Am I the only one who finds it funny all the flagships have to letter names? I mean, when the title will be S5 vs M8 vs G3 vs Z2 vs 5S… some people are going to lose it.

    • malcmilli

      i actually greatly prefer that over the old school “samsung galaxy s2 epic 4g touch”

      • Foramex

        Lol you got that right

      • barondebxl

        Yep.

    • barondebxl

      You can still say HTC one m8, Samsung galaxy s 5, lg g2 you know…

  • jschu22

    Phandroid should be embarrassed of such irresponsible “reporting”.

    • Jay Kresge

      Irresponsible reporting would be to take the numbers as given by IQMetrix, and claim that the S5 outsold the 5S. Quentyn questioned this and brought up the fact that there are different seasonal demands as well as different upgrade paths for longtime users.
      Phandroid’s writing in general has been pretty subpar lately (the two worst articles being the camera blur comparison and the article not understanding the ire aimed at OnePlus for their misleading on the phone’s size), but this article is a solid one.

      • jschu22

        All of the questioning done by the author was right from the original report, why not just post a link in that case, and not done from a logical thought point of view. Neither even so much as mentioned units sold, which places the title of this article right in the category of irresponsible.

        • toomuchgame441

          oh get a life… smh

          • jschu22

            Why did you not tell me this earlier?! Ive been wasting so much of what I thought was my life. Thank you!

          • toomuchgame441

            Wait a minute…. that comment wasn’t sincere at all!

          • jschu22

            toomuchgame441? Nope, should be toomuchsmarts441!

          • toomuchgame441

            J…. I think you just won the Internetz for today.

          • jschu22

            I did, just got the email.

          • Durin123

            Can you haz ban?

          • jschu22

            I just kid, please don’t be offended (sincere). Its not like anyone here is saying people aren’t man enough.

          • Durin123

            #yolo #loljustkidding #comeathimbro #f$&%hiscouch

          • rick slick

            LOL I’m always amazed at trolls like jschu22 who make mountains out of molehills… always gotta be some busy body somewhere making non-sense I guess.

          • jschu22

            Lot of ignorant people out there, blogs don’t need to help them come to incorrect conclusions. Just trying to add some rational thought but now that Im apparently a “troll” I guess I was doing more harm than good.

        • Jay Kresge

          The original report brings up the issue but doesn’t question them on it. They also make no mention of the upgrade paths.
          I read your comment and thought, “damn, he’s probably right.” I then read the report and realize that you’re flat out wrong.
          Have a nice day :)

          • jschu22

            Did this report, the one Ive called irresponsible, mention anything about actual sales figures or even inferred sales based upon what might be typical for the time of year? Did it mention how this is a percentage of units sold and could mean nothing if the referenced time period accounts for just a fraction of the units sold in the time period its being compared to? The most reasonable part of this entire article is the last paragraph.

          • Jay Kresge

            I can’t help but notice how you’ve changed your argument after being proven wrong :)
            Tell you what. I’ll address your new questions when you’re man enough to admit that you were incorrect in your first assessment.
            I won’t hold my breath.

          • jschu22

            What did I change? Maybe I wasn’t entirely correct about the content of the linked article but my stance has always been the same- Irresponsible reporting ON THIS SITE.

            Edit: irresponsible reporting in this article, not the entire site.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      I’m not sure what’s irresponsible about how I reported this? I didn’t take any of these numbers as gospel. I clearly stated that these numbers can tell ANY story without hard, factual data from Apple, Samsung and the retailers.

      All I did was lay them out, give some thoughts on what sort of story they could tell, and cornered it off with a disclaimer that such a thin claim should be taken with a grain of salt because we don’t know all the variables. Not to burst your bubble or anything, but that is the very definition of responsible reporting.

      • jschu22

        What is the title of your article, Quentyn? Did that happen and are there actual facts to support that? No, and the inference that share equates to a real outselling is what I call irresponsible.

        • toomuchgame441

          Look at what he placed in the parentheses…

        • Barry D.

          Better go to high school and learn to comprehend what you’re reading, if you actually even read the article. Judging by your comment you didn’t.

          • jschu22

            Yes I read the article. I read that there was nothing in the article to support an actual outselling of one phone over the other. Just one had a greater share (percentage) of phones sold for a weekend than the other did, which really doesn’t mean all that much and certainly not what the story’s title states.

          • DYNK

            Why is this guy so bothered rofl

        • DYNK

          Seriously gtfo of phandroid.com
          You god damn troll

      • TheJunkie

        I don’t know about irresponsible, but it certainly is questionable. In any case, I’m ok with the article. It at least presented enough information even if some aren’t backed up by facts.

      • rick slick

        Yea I would ignore trolls like jschu22

      • mhmmd123

        I guess jschu22 needs to go take a ESSAY TEST ONE MORE TIME, SO he can understand what he reading.

    • rick slick

      You, jschu22 should be embarrassed for your irresponsible commenting. See – we can do the same thing you do.

      • jschu22

        You’re right. It was irresponsible of me to assume everyone could be reasonable and see that the this article, “Galaxy S5 outsold iPhone 5S on launch weekend” actually provides no facts to support that and similar statements made. I am embarrassed.

    • DYNK

      Hey apple fanboy. Apple.com <– click ,its this way

      • jschu22

        Hey you spelled your username wrong, typed an “N” instead of a “C”.

        Im literally typing this from an S5, but good try. Now get back to your GED classes.

        • Roger_Ramshit

          Your both dynks…err…I mean di*ks. One coz your just a dynk and the other coz you think a plastic POS makes your argument sound.

  • Carl Rood

    Keep in mind that in the U.S., this is the time of year many people receive Income Tax refunds, meaning extra cash in their pocket.

    • barondebxl

      So? Its sounds like some of you would say anything to discredit Samsung. Its not like ppl get held at gun point to spend their tax return money on a Samsung product. Why the M8 Hasn’t sold that much in the US?

      • BustaArmov

        Some people cannot root for the 500 lb Gorilla.

      • Carl Rood

        First of all I own a Samsung. I’m just pointing out that time of release affects sales. People are more likely to spend money after getting a lump sum than,say, January 1, when they just spent a ton of money on Christmas. Time of year counts.

        • barondebxl

          So why hasn’t the HTC M8 sold as much?

  • Carpediem06

    This is a deceiving article…it is not comparing launch weekend of the iphone 5s versus launch weekend of galaxy s5…it is just comparing it on galaxy s5 launch weekend to a phone (iphone 5s) that has been out for over 6 months already…

    • BustaArmov

      It’s in the article’s LEAD for dog’s sake.
      “Word on the wire is that Samsung’s 2014 flagship did better on its
      opening weekend than Apple’s iPhone 5S did on its respective launch”

    • Barry D.

      You better actually read the article. Yes it is comparing both launch weekends.

  • Tony Lai

    Of course Galaxy S5 should outsell the iPhone 5S, it’s better in any possible ways.
    Plus, it’s a lot newer too.

  • Carpediem06

    What a DECEPTIVE article!!

    the phone better have outsold the iphone on its own launch weekend…..especially with a phone that has been out for over 6 months and a new one is imminent….

    it is not comparing s5 opening weekend sales to iphone 5s opening weekend sales…rather just the sales from april 11-13

    • BustaArmov

      You didn’t read the article.

      It’s in the article’s LEAD for dog’s sake.
      “Word on the wire is that Samsung’s 2014 flagship did better on its
      opening weekend than Apple’s iPhone 5S did on its respective launch”

    • DYNK

      ummm did you actually read the article?
      Apple fan boy alert

    • rick slick

      You look like a fool

  • http://www.asuntest.com Golden Chen

    Samsung Galaxy S5 SV Flip Ledertasche mit Klarsichtfenster

    Farbe erhältlich: Rose Golden, Schwarz, Weiß, Rosen-Rot, Schwarz, Grün,

    source: gadget2us.com

  • Michael Dodd

    All i know is my iphone 5s sucks and the samsung s5 promos and reviews dont talk about emails, phone calls or messaging.

  • http://www.chinavasion.com/china/wholesale/Cheap_Mobile_Phones/ Liza Jenifer

    I think that there was nothing in the article to support an actual outselling of
    one phone over the other. Just one had a greater share (percentage) of
    phones sold for a weekend than the other did, which really doesn’t mean
    all that much and certainly not what the story’s title states. I would like to say Thanks for sharing such a nice collection.
    Doogee Smartphone

  • Darktanone

    I can’t put my finger on it, but something is fishy about these numbers. Samsung has proven time and again to be a dishonest company and I’m not buying onto it.

    • barondebxl

      I don’t think Samsung really care about what you think, no offense, as long as they sell. I think they are selling a lot.

  • Lord Desslok

    I’m an S4 owner, and I think the iPhone5s was underwhelming, but this article is suspect. A couple points:

    1. Without actual numbers, these percentages are misleading.
    2. It excludes orders from Apple stores.

    I don’t know if this site has any credibility, but FWIW according to http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/samsung-galaxy-s5-sales-account-for-nearly-1-per-cent-of-android-market-1.1788658

    iPhone5s and 5c: 10 million sold in 2 days
    Galaxy S5: 7 million sold in 7 days

    Apple reportedly sold 2.5 times as many 5s as 5c phones.

  • Kevin Hodson

    The percentages are highly misleading. They don’t have any numbers, validity, etc. It’s literally just a percentage.

    Hypothetically for people to understand, They’re could have been three phones sold in one day. Two being the GS5 and one being any other phone (ex. The iPhone 5s). GS5 would have been 66% of phone sales that day but it literally proves absolutely nothing.

  • http://www.KamilGPhotography.com/ KamilG225

    I actually bought 4 the day they came out…just to resell them at retail price and make a decent $2,000 that day.

    Carriers paying for ETFs is a thing of beauty.