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5/9/2013
10:48 AM
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Samsung Galaxy S4 Edges Past HTC One

Initial sales data says Samsung's flagship smartphone has taken an early lead over HTC's.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Takes A Bow
Samsung Galaxy S 4 Takes A Bow
(click image for slideshow)
The stakes couldn't be much higher for HTC than they are right now. The One, HTC's flagship smartphone for 2013, launched last month to critical acclaim. Unfortunately for HTC, so did the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Korean phone maker's flagship device for the year.

The One is being sold by AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA. It will not be sold by Verizon Wireless. The Galaxy S4 is also available from AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA, and it will reach Verizon Wireless later this month. The devices cost about the same: between $199 and $249 depending on the carrier and amount of storage inside.

The GS4 has taken an early lead over the One, according to data from mobile ad firm Chitika. The company measured ad impressions across its network to make this determination. Its data suggests that the GS4 was responsible for about 0.19% of all the mobile Web traffic in the U.S. between April 26 and May 6. By contrast, the HTC One, which went on sale about two weeks before the GS4, accounted for only 0.11% of mobile Web traffic between April 11 and May 6.

[ HTC has its work cut out ahead. Will the One help turn things around? Read HTC Plays Catch Up ]

"The Galaxy S4 seems to already be picking up where the popular Galaxy S3 left off," said Chitika in its report. "With its impressive growth rate, along with the upcoming Verizon launch of the device, it's likely that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will become the latest hit device for the Korean company."

Of the HTC One, Chitika said that it "has started to make its mark in the smartphone market despite limited availability." Compared to the Galaxy S4, however, Chitika said, "It's evident that HTC still has ground to make up competitively."

Chitika also provided some interesting data about how the Galaxy S4 compares to its predecessors and which Samsung devices are still popular among U.S. consumers.

For example, the Galaxy S3 is responsible for 57.8% of all the mobile Web traffic for Galaxy-branded devices. The Galaxy S2 trails with 32.9%, and the 2010-era Galaxy S is still responsible for 7.6%. After just a few weeks in the market, the GS4 accounts for 1.7% of all mobile Web traffic coming from Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones. Hopefully Chitika will update this data at the end of the quarter and again later this year so we can see how the GS4 continues to fare against its older siblings.

A similar breakdown of Web traffic from HTC's smartphones provides clues about the popularity of its devices. For example, the HTC EVO is the most popular HTC device on the market, responsible for 33.2% of HTC's Web traffic. The EVO was sold by Sprint and went on sale three years ago. That speaks volumes about HTC's success, or lack thereof, with its more recent smartphones. The 2010-era Droid Incredible followed the EVO, with 8.9% of HTC's Web traffic. Next up was last year's One X, with 5.9% of HTC's Web traffic. Rounding out the bottom are the One S with 4.2%, the One V with 3.5%, and the new HTC One with 1.9%.

The HTC One has a long, tough slog ahead of it.

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