Preorders for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, which land March 11, are stronger than expected, according to Samsung. Whether or not that leads to real-world sales is another story altogether.
Samsung smartphone exec Koh Dong-jin, speaking to reporters Thursday, did not provide any actual numbers in terms of the preorders, or even offer sales projections for the handset. He did, however, say Samsung expects the GS7 will help it revive sales in China, where it has lost marketshare to low-priced phones from competitors. The GS7 should allow Samsung to better compete with high-end models made by China-based OEMs, as well as with Apple's iPhone.
Koh's comments follow a report from BusinessKorea that suggests the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are, in fact, seeing a lower number of preorders than last year's GS6 and GS6 Edge. The timing of Koh's remarks, therefore, could have been done to help curb investor jitters.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are state-of-the-art smartphones, but still represent only incremental updates to last year's models. Some analysts, says Reuters, believe sales will be weaker than the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
Looking back at the launch of the Galaxy S6, S5, S4, and S III, we see some interesting trends. The S III was the first of the Galaxy S handsets to really take off. Sales pushed 60 million. The S4, released in 2013, was a smash hit, with sales reaching 100 million over time. The S5 was an iterative update to the S5 and didn't perform quite as well as the S4. Somewhat surprisingly, the GS6, which was a huge technological leap forward compared to the GS5, didn't help bolster sales, which were weaker than expected.
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In other words, it's safe to say the Galaxy S7's launch is completely open to speculation.
Samsung does face at least one notable obstacle: The smartphones, advanced and capable as they may be, are very expensive. The GS7 comes in at $670, while the larger GS7 Edge costs a painful $780. In order to offset these expenses, carriers are offering them to consumers via installment plans. The monthly payments range from $20 to $30, depending in the carrier and handset.
AT&T and T-Mobile even have dueling buy-one-get-one offers in order to appeal to families.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are waterproof. They feature Snapdragon 820 processors with 4GB of RAM, and are equipped with 12-megapixel main cameras. They run Android 6.0 Marshmallow and include a number of Samsung's specialized apps and services.
Do you plan to get one? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.