Why Samsung Galaxy S6 sales suck

Samsung is predicting a second-quarter drop in operating profit for Q2, and this decline in confidence suggests that sales of its flagship Galaxy S6 have not been as buoyant as the company hoped. But why?

Samsung is predicting a second-quarter drop in operating profit for the April to June period, down 4.2 percent from a year earlier. This decline in confidence suggests that sales of its flagship Galaxy S6 have not been as buoyant as the company hoped.

But why?

Samsung broke the S6 to compete with the iPhone

Samsung took things that S5 owners liked - features such as a removable battery and microSD card slot - and dumped them from the S6 design in order to make a smartphone that looked and felt more like the iPhone.

Underestimating demand for the S6 Edge

Samsung had initially predicted that it would sell four Galaxy S6 smartphones for each S6 Edge. However, analysts have suggested that demand for the Edge was far higher than expected, and Samsung failed to ramp up production to meet that demand.

Crowded Samsung line up

Samsung has taken a "throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach to Android devices, which has resulted in a bewildering array of Android smartphones and tablets. And to make matters worse the catalog of devices on offer is constantly changing.

This creates a confusing ecosystem for prospective buyers.

Crowded Android market

Samsung is just one player in an ecosystem that is becoming increasingly crowded. And beyond a few design and user interface tweaks, there's little differentiation between devices beyond the brand and price. And new devices are being drip-fed into the market on an almost weekly basis.

Compare this to Apple's iPhone ecosystem that has one major release per year and the line up is kept simple by culling old devices.

It could be worse

A Jefferies note to clients dated July 7 claimed that the majority of the 15 to 20 percent quarter-over-quarter shipment decline in Q2 was down to weak demand for mid-range to low-end devices, and that demand for premium devices has, on the whole, remained stable.

However, Samsung has been riding on the wave of previously successful devices - in particular the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 - and the S6 stumble could cause it to lose ground to its competitors.

See also:

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All