Apr 24th, 2014

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.


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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