Samsung exec says Galaxy S5 sales topped 11 million in first month

Ian Hardy

May 15, 2014 6:44am

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has done better than all expected. Earlier this week a report in an overseas publication stated that Samsung topped 10 million Galaxy S5 shipments within 25 days. However, according to J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile division, the company has exceeded this number and sold over 11 million GS5 smartphones since it first went on sale last month.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shin stated, “It’s been a month since we began selling the S5, and out of the gate, sales are much stronger than the Galaxy S4.” The GS5 is available across 11 carriers in Canada — Rogers, Bell, Telus, Fido, Virgin Mobile, Koodo, MTS, Eastlink, SaskTel, Videotron and Wind Mobile — but there was no indication of how country specific sales were doing, only that “sales were especially good” in U.S., Australia and Germany.

  • thepeddle

    Well at least they used the word SOLD so all the haters and Fanboys can save their breath on SHIPPED vs SOLD…they claim they did 11 million..everyone calm down

    • It’s Me

      Samsung always says sold. Always. And always means shipped. Always. And they are being 100% honest in saying that, because a shipped phone is a phone they’ve sold, to a carrier or retailer. But it doesn’t mean sold to a customer, which is the real comparison that matters.

      So, yes, they say SOLD but it still means SHIPPED.

    • cs098

      To be fair, everyone does that,

    • MikeOxlong

      No, everyone does not.

    • cs098

      Um yes they do lol. Apple does it samsung does it, and even if the others don’t, it won;t even really matter anyways.

    • It’s Me

      Actually, everyone does it, _except_ for Apple. It’s always been easier for Apple to report actual sales to actual customers because they track it by activations. Other OEMs generally never has or required an activation for devices. That’s not to say the others couldn’t provide more accurate sales numbers (to consumers) but it is much more difficult and really only the tier 1 OEM (Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc) would have the resources to really track that through things like working with retailers/carriers more closely for accurate numbers and their own activation mechanisms.

      So, it’s not entirely the fault of the others for reporting shipped as sold, but it isn’t entirely accurate. HP TouchPad and RIM Playbooks had huge “sales” numbers but because they were only shipped, 90%+ were sitting in warehouses, docks and stockrooms.

    • cs098

      I guess that makes sense, but even then apple sometimes fudges the numbers with shipments even though they don’t need to.

    • marorun1982

      I am sorry but you are not right Apple count pĥone ship to carrier + phones sold in apple store so its more a mix of both.

    • It’s Me

      Activations. They count and report activations. As in every iPhone must talk to the apple servers to activate and they count those and report those.

    • zippinglou

      #BOOM – “It’s Me”, you destroyed him

    • Ulysses Grant

      Sure… Apple Fanboys will say that when Samsung says SOLD, it means SHIPPED but they get offended when APPLE says SOLD, it means SHIPPED. Absolutely a double standard. Just go on to BGR…i meant iBGR then we’ll see how much they hate every phones except Apple.

    • It’s Me

      Wtf are you talking about? It’s industry standard to report shipped as sold because they are sold, just not to customers. Apple has been very clear that their sold number are reported as units sold to/activated by customers. They’d be in violation of SEC reporting if they lied about this.

      Like I said, Samsung report shipped numbers as sold and is 100% honest in doing so. It just doesn’t mean what you want it to mean.

      You might not like that fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless. It’s not a double standard, it’s facts.

    • marorun1982

      Even if its a Facts its dont make it right.

      Sony given the real sold amount of console for th Ps4 where microsoft given shipped one.

      Ship stuff dont mean sold as its possible they will never get into the hand of a consumer or will do but in a few months or years..

    • Ulysses Grant

      Why so much passion you got there? So tell me, has Samsung been summoned by SEC for violating any report? If yes then show me a link that tells that? If no, then you just want to say what you want to say… and you know what? WTF!

    • It’s Me

      Why would they be brought up before SEC? They’ve made honest statements.

      The problem is those honest statements are worded such that some, like you, thing it means sales to customers. This is shown by your confusion in trying to relate it to Apples statements and lead you to make passionate, albeit ignorant, accusations of double standards. Apple reports user activations, Samsung reports units shipped to carrier/retailer warehouses. You think those are somehow the same (or you silly accusation makes even less sense)…that’s why I tried to clarify. I hate to see people wallow in ignorance.

      So, no double standard. You’re simply confused by Samsung reporting. Hopefully less so now.

    • marorun1982


      Working at Telus here and since its came out i sold 1 only.. Sold way more Iphone and even HTC M8 or others android than the S5.. They are sleeping on the shelve.. Just like Microsoft Xbox one lol

    • Deli

      You are clearly trolling.

  • eszklar

    When’s the S5 “Prime” coming out again?

  • southerndinner

    Sony and HTC will be lucky to combine their sales to meet a tenth of the sales

    • marorun1982

      Because majority of ppl are Marketing Zombie 🙂

    • Jonathan Schmitt

      The Z2 is one of the best looking and feeling phones I have ever held. I am more of a Nexus person, but as soon as I felt the Z2 I fell in love with it. I would watch Sony in the next little while.

  • cartfan88

    Those are big numbers. Period. I’ll leave the arguing about semantics to those who “have a side”.

    • It’s Me

      They are huge numbers.

      HP reported big numbers for the TouchPads too. It’s not semantics though it might take a nuanced understanding to recognize why the distinction matters.

    • FlamesFan89

      while I don’t disagree with you on there being a difference between shipped and sold, there hasn’t been a peep from any carriers or retailers saying that they bought massive quantities of stock of the S5 and can’t sell them. If 11 million units were shipped, and were mostly sitting on shelves, you can bet there would be outcry from the retailers and carriers. The number of units in end user hands is undoubtedly a smaller number than 11 million, but I’m willing to bet it is a might big number, and trying to belittle the achievement because it is a number sold by Samsung as opposed to end user purchases, just comes across as petty.

    • It’s Me

      I’m certainly not trying to belittle their achievement. Being able to ship 11 million today is a huge number, from a supply chain perspective, from an inventory management perspective and in terms of carrier/retailer confidence. Back during the TouchPad fisaco and even the Playbook, carriers and retailers had no idea what to expect and simply went with the sales pitch from HP and RIM as to what to buy. That is not the case with Samsung. Samsung has shown that they will sell huge numbers, so when the carriers and retailers and the rest of the channel is placing orders, they are able to be very accurate in ordering what will sell.

      But that doesn’t change facts. Shipped doesn’t mean sold. Specifically since we are talking about the pace of shipments, that in and of itself is not nearly as big an accomplishment as actually selling those numbers in a given period. That would be like asking movie theaters for their best guess about ticket sales for an upcoming movie and then reporting those estimates as ticket sales on opening weekend. Shipped units are really just an estimate of what the channel expects to be able to sell. And just because the channel is stuffed, those units might take many more weeks to actually move. Still a huge number and there is little doubt that they will sell. But they didn’t sell 11 million units in a month (to consumers), they shipped into the channel 11 million units. But saying “11 million sold to customers in 2 or 3 months” is not nearly as impressive, is it?

    • FlamesFan89

      It’s Me: “I swear, I’m not belittling their achievement, it’s certainly very good… but, I need to belittle it and point out what I perceive as a flaw, just so no one thinks that Samsung did something well”

    • It’s Me

      Not pointing out a flaw. Explaining an important distinction between concepts.

      You might the smartest guy I the room right now. But saying you’re the smartest might lead some to think you meant you’re the smartest guy in the world. Sort of a big difference. Pointing that out doesn’t make you any less smart or take away from praising you as smart.

      You are really way too sensitive about slights that are imaginary.

    • FlamesFan89

      One might question your motives for “Explaining an important distinction between concepts” 😉

      I’m not sensitive at all. In fact, chuckle and shake my head at your insistence on “Explaining an important distinction between concepts”. It is silly, petty, and unnecessary. But, whatever floats yer boat.

    • It’s Me

      It’s hardly petty. The two concepts are very different. My motivation is that people, right in these comments, so completely misunderstand the difference. Sad that you do understand the difference but prefer ignorance.

      I chuckle at your desire to defend Samsung even when there is nothing to defend. Sorry to have offended your sensibilities with facts.

    • FlamesFan89

      The concepts are not nearly as different as you would love people to believe. Did Samsung, or did Samsung not sell 11 million devices? The answer is yes, they did. Are they all in end users hands, no. Has Samsung, regardless of any end users even existing on the planet, made revenue from selling 11 million devices? Yes, they have. Those are facts.

      You being butthurt that the S5 is NOT an unmitigated disaster, that’s just funny. You trying play it up as being the good citizen who is simply here to educate the world on the semantics of mobile device sales is nothing short of terrible stand-up comedy.

      Personally, I couldn’t care less whether Samsung sold 1 device, or 1 billion. I just think it is funny how determined you are to “[Explain] an important distinction between concepts”, when the reality is, whether or not anyone in the entire world knows the exact number of S5’s sold to end users, as far as Samsung is concerned, it is thus far their most successful device in terms of rate of sales. Many, if not most other manufacturers would KILL to have 11 million devices shipped, sold, or hell, even created in the first place.

      The device, from the manufacturer’s perspective, has been successful, that’s the only fact you need to know.

    • cartfan88

      See you get the good citizen angle. What’s also funny is when that poster loses it on the Apple threads if there’s anything negative said about Apple but yet turns up here and other Samsung threads to educate us on the semantics of Samsung’s sales numbers. Never fails to throw out Playbook and Touchpad examples to show us the way.

    • It’s Me

      I mention them because they are good example of why shipped != sold.

      Shipping lots of units is great. Shipping millions in a month is great. Not the same as customers buying 11 million in a month and that’s exactly what reporting shipped as sold implies. Selling to customers is usually harder that shipping units.

      Samsung reported 10s of thousands of gears were “sold”. Turns out fewer than 1 in 50 were bought by customers in that period. When they have to start reimbursing retailers to let them lower the prices or give them away, you start to see why stating shipped as sold is overstating the actual situation.

      Most reports from channel checks show the S5 is behind the S4. So now proclaiming it as an unmitigated success because so many units were shipped is for a reason.

    • cartfan88

      Thats a fair point about the Gear. Lucky if you can get $90 on kijiji for them. The difference in real eventual sales will be that the S5 is a decent high end phone, the Gear…well I don’t’s cheap (now).

      You have to think carriers after this many iterations of Samsung S series have a reasonable comfort level with the amount they are pre-ordering unlike the Gear. Unless Samsung purposely chose to stuff an extra million into their channels this time and somehow those channels agreed to it.

      Not everyone these days is like Sony completely caught off guard by demand for the Z2. In many ways that’s worse in the fickle world of mobile…when you have a hit you better have product available.

    • It’s Me

      Not only do I think that the carriers have a reasonable comfort level about, I stated exactly that in one of my first comments in the subject….before flames took offense and went off about it.

      But channel stuffing is nothing new. Everyone does it. But it can bite them in the but too. For instance if actual sales soften then the channel takes a hit trying to clear inventory, which in wireless usually means reimbursements for discounts.

    • It’s Me

      Like I said, it’s sad that you know the difference but prefer ignorance.

    • FlamesFan89

      Ah yes, of course, it is “ignorance” to simply not care how many end users have S5s in their hands.

      Feel free to continue to think you are enlightened by qualifying their sales with a caveat. Like I said, whatever floats yer boat.

      What’s sad is that making qualifying statements to something so trivial makes you feel enlightened.

      *pisssssss* your turn to get the last word in. 😛

    • It’s Me

      It’s not qualifying it if a caveat. It’s recognizing what their actual accomplishment was. You care enough to continue to reply to propagate ignorance. That’s sad.

    • It’s Me

      Did they sell 11 million to customer? Maybe not. But they are implying they did.

    • FlamesFan89

      And you care because???????

    • It’s Me

      Because it’s an interesting social phenomenon that intelligent people will willingly believe something that isn’t true, or rather convince themselves of different meaning to suit their view.

    • FlamesFan89

      No, you care because it’s [Fill in company name which is not Apple here] having good sales, and you want to try and take it down a peg.

      Here, to appease you…

      The number of S5s that Samsung has sold to end users is x * 11,000,000 where x is a number between 0 and 1. The number of S4s that Samsung sold in the same amount of time is y * T, where T is some number less than 11,000,000, and while we don’t know for sure, y can likely be safely assumed to be roughly equivalent to x.

      Since, for all intents and purposes x = y, and 11,000,000 > T, one can safely assume that the number of S5s sold to end users is greater than the number of S4s sold to end users. What does this mean? It means, as far as Samsung, a.k.a. the manufacturer, a.k.a. the company most concerned about the success or failure of the device, is concerned, the S5 is having a successful launch.

      If the exact number of end users matters to you? Well, then, I think you need a hobby. I suggest coin collecting or stamp collecting, as they both require the need for meticulous detail observation, but perhaps stay away from expressionist artwork, as that is more about feelings and emotions. Point being, the semantics and details of this press release matter to those with gigantic sticks up their backsides. To the rest of the population who have actually meaningful lives, it is an OBVIOUSLY rounded number, which can give a rough indication of the level of success compared to past products. A cursory glance is all that is warranted, with a quick comparison on the order of “is 11 bigger than 10? Yup, ok, moving on”.

    • It’s Me

      Apple sold more phones than anyone else this year.*

      *Depending on how one wants to play with numbers, this is 100% honest and accurate. But since some people prefer to play with numbers in order to elicit specific perceptions, this is a good a statement as the one you are trying so hard to promote.

    • FlamesFan89

      I’m not trying to promote anything, and if Apple sold more phones than anyone, good for them.

      All I’m trying to point out is that you come across as butthurt that some other company, other than Apple sold a bunch of phones.

      I’m indifferent. Samsung sold lots, Apple sold lots, HTC and Sony sold fewer, but likely still a bunch. The take away from this press release is that Samsung is happy with their sales, and they are larger than the sales of the S4. If you want to get all hyper detailed about it, well then, as I have repeatedly said, you look petty. You can say it isn’t petty all you want, but that’s how it comes across. Deal with it.

    • It’s Me

      Given your eagerness to debate against a factual statement, you appear to be anything but indifferent. The one thing you cannot be accused of is indifference.

      You keep trying to frame this as me trying to make Samsung look bad. I’ve done no such thing, that is your own delusion. I am actually indifferent to how many phones Samsung sold or shipped. But I do like accuracy. On the other hand, your crusade against people making negative comments against Samsung, even when they are only in your imagination, is awesome.

      The take away from the release is how quickly they were able to sell 11 million phones. The implication is that 11 million customer bought them in just 25 days. That didn’t happen, but they did ship a helluva lot of phones.

      You may now have the last word. (I know you said the same, but I’ll be honest about it and the floor is all yours to continue with your crusade brother)

    • FlamesFan89

      Nope, I’m not debating a factual statement. I don’t care one way or the other how many phones they sold, be it 1, or 1 entire buttload where buttload is a number equivalent to your level of butthurt.

      What I’m debating is that you look ridiculously petty by trying so desperately to make a company look bad when they are doing quite well for themselves (by any measuring stick you want to use) just because the devices they sell don’t have an “i” in front of their name.

      But please, do go on proving my point. 🙂

  • zippinglou

    Sold and shipped but sitting on a shelf seem to be the same word in Korean…. hahahaha