Samsung announced the internal sales record today. But how many really depends on your definition of sold. Samsung certainly shipped 10 million Galaxy S2s since the smartphone's launch in April. But is that sold into the channel, or out to consumers? Samsung's self-congratulatory announcement suggests sales-in rather than sales-out.
Still, the number is a stunning achievement for one of the best smartphones available anywhere and arguable top-of-class among Android handsets (I'm judging by the rave reviews, since I don't have the S2). Galaxy S II sales reached 3 million units during first the 55 days of sales and 5 million after 85 days. But because Samsung reiterated the 5 million number when announcing US availability on August 30, I asked if the company was being honest about the numbers. Today's announcement, really tomorrow in South Korea, puts the answer at yes.
But there remains the cagey question of sold-in or sold-out of the channel. Samsung's disclosed sales figures answer that question, I believe. According to Samsung, Galaxy S II sales breakdown as:
- South Korea: 3.6 million
- Europe: 3.4 million
- Asia: 2.3 million
Perhaps my math skills are challenged, because I count 9.3 million units. So, either Samsung left some region out, sales aren't 10 million or the missing 700,000 represents sell-in to somewhere else. If Samsung didn't reveal all regional figures, sales would be more likely going out of the channel to consumers. If sales-in, those 700k units would be to stock the channel in a new market. Could that be here? In these old United States? Sprint started selling the Galaxy S II as the Epic 4G Touch less than 10 days ago, and AT&T's model goes on sale October 2.
I don't have an answer, just speculation. But I have put the question to Samsung, which may not respond today. In the official statement released earlier Samsung says that "with this record, Galaxy S2 has become the fastest ten million sold Samsung phone in all time, breaking the records of the company’s previous international hit models Star Phone and Galaxy S which took 6 and 7 months respectively for ten million sales".
The reviews of the international Galaxy S2 glowed. For example: "The finest Android phone we've seen so far, the Samsung Galaxy S II isn't just a competitor to the current iPhone. It competes with the next iPhone", writes Sascha Segan for PC Mag.com, giving the smartphone an "Editor's Choice" rating. That last statement is the clincher. Samsung already is one generation ahead of Apple.
"The Galaxy S II's screen is nothing short of spectacular", writes Vlad Savov for Engadget. Praise continues -- from the "onscreen keyboard is terrific" to "general responsiveness is absolutely exemplary". Savov concludes: "It's the best Android smartphone yet, but more importantly, it might well be the best smartphone, period".
The first reviews of the US models are just last week appearing. "The Super AMOLED Plus that comes with the Galaxy S II is simply stunning", Cory Gunther writes for SlashGear. "Between the brilliant display, fast and extremely fluid performance of the dual-core processor, and the overall sleek and thin design I can tell you from my initial hands-on I’m going to love this phone".
Kevin Tofel, writing for GigaOM: "The phone is a speed demon; I haven’t yet used an Android phone this fast. You tap the screen, and the phone reacts". Betanews reader Joseph LoRe reviews the Sprint model, in an exhaustive first-look posted two days ago. He writes: "It is easy to see why Samsung sold 5 million Galaxy S IIs in 85 days in Europe and Asia. The phone, due to its size, speed, and screen quality, absolutely demands your attention. In fact, come to think of it, it demands your attention in a way that is different than the first time you laid eyes on an iPhone".
Someone is paying attention. More than 4,300 people have responded to Betanews' poll asking "Will you buy Galaxy S II?" More than 80 percent of respondents say they will buy within 6 months -- 76 percent within 3 months.