Riding high on an early release date and strong promotional support, Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S7 device cracked the top five best-selling smartphones in the United States. But it might not stop there.
A new report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech indicates the S7 might just make its way to the top in the second quarter.
“The Galaxy S7 was the fifth best-selling phone in Q116 despite only being available for the last few weeks of the sales period,” Kantar mobile analyst Lauren Guenveur wrote. “With strong sales in the first few weeks boasted by heavy promotions across carrier and independent retailers, we can well expect the Galaxy S7 to become the best-selling phone in Q2 of this year.”
Unlike its less popular predecessor, Guenveur said the S7 was an “immediate hit” with U.S. consumers. The device captured 5.8 percent of first quarter smartphone sales after just a few weeks on the market, compared to the Galaxy S6’s 3.2 percent of sales after three months.
Separate data from Kantar showed the S7’s first quarter launch coincided with a 7.3 percent increase in the U.S. market share for the Android operating system more generally. From January to March, Android’s U.S. market share rose from 58.2 percent to 65.5 percent, while Apple’s iOS market share dropped from 39.1 percent to 31.6 percent.
Kantar attributed Android’s gains to increased sales from Samsung, Motorola and LG.
In its first quarter earnings report last month, Samsung said its mobile business sales figures for the quarter – which totaled around $43.4 billion – were up eight percent year over year and 12 percent sequentially. Samsung attributed part of its earnings growth to the S7.
Guenveur said part of the S7’s popularity came from its improvements on consumer pain points from the S6. For example, the S7 reportedly bettered the S6’s battery life and added a fast wireless charging feature that offers 50 percent battery life from a half hour of charging.
According to Kantar data, 53.6 percent of those who purchased the S7 or S7 Edge said the main driver of their purchase was the device’s battery life. S7 buyers were also drawn to the device for its camera quality (nearly 51 percent compared to 33.5 percent of smartphone buyers overall), processor speed and storage capacity.
But Guenveur also pointed out that promotion of the device also played a huge role in its success.
“Generally, when we ask consumers what influenced their decision to purchase their model, getting a good deal on the price of the phone is always the top influencer (43.9% of smartphone buyers in Q116 versus the next nearest purchase influencer: exclusive phone promotion or offer at 19.9%),” Guenveur wrote. “However, 38.8% of Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge buyers were influenced by an exclusive phone promotion or offer, 12.2% by a free or discounted product, 11% by a trade-in scheme, and 10.3% by free or discounted accessories.”
Thanks to competing deals from all four tier-1 U.S. carriers as well as retailers like Best Buy and Costco, among others, Guenveur concluded the S7 appears to be “one of the most heavily promoted phones, ever.”
As the promotions fade away and it goes head to head with Apple’s new iPhone SE, Guenveur said it will be interesting to see whether the S7 can continue its climb to the top.