Big Sales Figures Mask Truth About Samsung's New Smartphone

Samsung Electronics has sold more than 3 million Galaxy S2 smartphones worldwide, the company said Sunday, meaning one phone was sold every 1.5 seconds, or 50,000 per day, since its launch in Korea in April.

Another announcement claimed Samsung ranked first in terms of market share in the U.K. and Switzerland thanks to the improved performance of the Galaxy S2, which gave the impression that the Galaxy S2 smartphones were sweeping the global market.

But that omits the fact that half of the gadgets were sold in Korea. Samsung had earlier highlighted only the global sales of 3 million. It therefore remains to be seen whether the Galaxy S2 can really sweep the entire global market.

The fact that the Galaxy S2's domestic sales accounted for half of its sales hardly fits with the firm's claim that it developed the phone with the global market in mind. A Samsung executive said since the phone was first released in Korea, the proportion of sales here was relatively high. But he added, "We expect the domestic sales proportion to dwindle over time while global sales will rise."

But industry insiders say Samsung can make far more profits if it sells the phone in Korea rather than abroad.

In the U.S., the world's largest mobile phone market, the phone has yet to be released nearly two-and-a-half months after its launch in Korea. Last year, the first Galaxy S was launched on the American market only a month after its release in Korea. "Negotiations with American telecom companies have dragged on," the executive said.

The main reason the Galaxy S2 is not as attractive to American telecoms as to European ones is phone maker Motorola, which makes phones that work best with the American mobile protocol CDMA. That means U.S. telecoms have a better alternative.

When the Galaxy S smartphone was launched last year, no competing new models by Motorola and HTC of Taiwan were available. As far as U.S. telecoms were concerned, the Galaxy S was the only alternative to the iPhone last year. But the new model faces much tougher competition.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 07, 2011 10:35 KST

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