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Samsung Selling Fewer Flagships But More Profitably?

Samsung has announced first month shipments of the new Galaxy S8 of just five million. That's a disappointing number compared to main rival Apple, but also when compared to sales of its previous flagship phones.

Based on Samsung's own information each model in its Galaxy flagship range has had a weaker launch than the previous one. A trend that goes back to the GS5.

Now fewer sales are not necessarily a bad thing if a device is more profitable. The S8 is certainly more expensive than its predecessors, so its financial success depends very much upon its bill of materials, assembly, shipping and cost of sales. Those fewer sales could be generating a larger profit and having a halo effect on the rest of Samsung's range. 

The bulk of Samsung's smartphone sales seem to stem from the mid-range, where it has some pretty impressive offerings. Basking in the reflected glory of the S8 makes them appear more desirable. 

Interesting to see that the premium Android segment appears to be accommodating more players, even if that isn't resulting in higher sales.

I can't help but wonder if Samsung were to re-release the GS5 today, with all the advantages it packed, what sort of reception it would receive. I'm sure there would be a hardcore of users who would jump at its removable battery, MHL video out and USB mass storage features. All things which seem to have fallen by the wayside as Android and Samsung have pursued an Apple-like strategy.

A GS5 may not make for a crowd pleasing flagship device, but I'd bet it would rack up sales with those who put function over form. 


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