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Sales of Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge beat expectations

2015/04/14 09:26

SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- Sales of Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S6 Edge, a curved sister of the new flagship Galaxy S6 smartphone, have been much higher than expected, industry sources said Tuesday, with its supply unlikely to meet surging demand for the time being.

Samsung rolled out the latest smartphone models in 20 countries on Friday, hoping they will help revitalize its ailing mobile business and take on Apple Inc.'s iPhone lineup.

According to the sources, sales of the Galaxy S6 Edge currently make up about 50 percent of the shipments of all Galaxy S6 models worldwide, far higher than the market estimate of 20 to 30 percent made ahead of the release.

"While we cannot reveal the exact sales figure, the domestic sales volume over past three days is an all-time high (among previous Galaxy models)," an industry insider said.

The combined pre-orders of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge came to 300,000 in South Korea, far exceeding sales of any Galaxy lineup released earlier, according to market sources.

The surging popularity of the Galaxy S6 Edge has left retailers without stock of the device, industry watchers said, adding that the supply shortage will continue for at least a month.

A high-ranking Samsung official admitted that the company failed to make a precise prediction of demand for the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Market watchers say the popularity of the Galaxy S6 Edge is attributable to its new design and other features.

The Galaxy S6 Edge has a curved screen that bends from side to side, which allows users to enjoy a wider view. It is an update from the Galaxy Note Edge released last year that bent on only one end, which brought a dull reaction from the market.

It also has a built-in battery that can be charged on a wireless basis, a feature that was not available on any previous Samsung smartphones. Consumers have hailed a new mobile payment platform, Samsung Pay, which will be available for downloading starting in July.

While the robust performances of Samsung's newborns are giving a breather to the South Korean tech giant, which has been losing its share of the high-end device market to Apple Inc., the U.S. rival has hit the jackpot in the smartwatch sector, with the Apple Watch's pre-orders being completely filled in just six hours last week.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, Apple took 20.4 percent of the global smartphone market by shipping 74.8 million units, outpacing that of Samsung, which accounted for 19.9 percent, data compiled by market tracker Gartner Inc. showed.

The result came as a shock for Samsung, as it had 29.5 percent of the market a year earlier, compared to Apple's 17.8 percent.

Market tracker Strategy Analytics, meanwhile, estimated that the sales volume of the Apple Watch will reach 15.4 million, allowing the U.S. player to take up 55 percent of the global market. Samsung stood as the top player with 71.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014 in the segment.