As one of the world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, Samsung’s challenge in developed nations like the U.S. is to continue to grow its market share in the face of many innovative competitors fighting for largely the same customers. For Samsung and other manufacturers like it, success in these markets is largely defined by the fortunes of the flagship device.
The Galaxy S5, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, debuted on April 11, 2014 across all the major U.S. carriers. One major promotion also coincided with the device’s release, with Verizon offering customers the option to buy one Galaxy S5 and get another one free. Based on North American Web usage data, this promotion, along with some other smaller campaigns from Sprint and others, are likely to have helped boost adoption rates of the device as compared to previous Galaxy S models.
To quantify the post-release usage share of the Samsung Galaxy S5, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Samsung smartphone-based online ad impressions between April 11 and May 5, 2014. In order to compare this with Samsung Galaxy S4 adoption, Chitika Insights examined tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian Samsung smartphone-based online ad impressions between April 25 and May 19, 2013. Usage share figures were then graphed based on a seven-day rolling average following each device’s respective North American release date.
In the 25 days since the device hit the North American market, usage statistics point to Galaxy S5 users generating 4.3% of all continental Samsung smartphone Web traffic. For comparison, 2.0% of North American Samsung smartphone Web usage was driven by Galaxy S4 users in the same time period following its 2013 release. This makes it likely that the device will best the previous 10,000,000 unit sales record for the company, which was set by the Galaxy S4 in 2013.
What makes the Galaxy S5’s rate of adoption slightly more remarkable is that Samsung users generate the largest portion of Android smartphone Web traffic in North America. With the company’s traffic level as significant as it is, capturing more than four full percentage points worth of usage share in just slightly over three weeks is particularly notable.
On top of being understandably good news for Samsung, the Galaxy S5’s early progress in North America better illuminates the continent’s current smartphone environment. Consumers have jumped at the device in the early going despite the S5 being the largest Galaxy S phone yet at 5.1 inches. Sustained growth would be a clear signal that phablets have moved beyond their niche beginnings to become a mainstream device class in North America. Additionally, while the tech press was generally less enthusiastic about the Galaxy S4 due to a lack of distinctly new-features, the S5’s addition of a water- and dust-resistant case and a better camera, among other changes, have been well received by industry watchers, largely setting the bar for Samsung’s competitors.