Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd seems to have grossly underestimated the demand for its latest in the S-series, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones.
The Korean electronics giant said Wednesday that consumer demand for both models has been “much higher” than it was expecting, reports Se Young Lee of Reuters. The Galaxy S6 and its dual-edge sibling went for sale last Friday in 20 countries.
Weeks before the phones hit the stores, Samsung had received a whopping 20 million pre-orders from telecom carriers worldwide. Strong demand had prompted the company to raise its production target for April from 7 million units to 8 million units. Even increased production couldn’t help much in meeting the sky-high demand.
Though Samsung did not reveal sales figures for the opening weekend, analysts believe that the new devices will drive its earnings up significantly in the current quarter. Maybank analyst Warren Lau estimates that the Korean company could ship 50 million units of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge through the end of this year. Lau said the phones are currently available only in 20 countries.
Given the favorable trends, Samsung could easily beat analysts’ projections as the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge go to more countries. Maybank now expects shipments of 32-35 million units of the new phones from April-July. Samsung’s last blockbuster Galaxy S model, the Galaxy S4, had sold 43 million units since its launch in early 2013 through the end of that year.
Last week, Samsung’s mobile chief JK Shin told reporters that the company was facing near-term supply shortage for the curved-screen model. That’s because the Galaxy S6 Edge screens are more difficult to manufacture. Still, the company is doing everything it can “to secure enough supplies for our global consumers.”
The success of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is key to Samsung’s revival. The Korean company has lost market share to Xiaomi and Micromax at the lower-end and Apple Inc. in the premium segment in the past few years.