Samsung Galaxy S4 edges iPhone 5 in sales despite slump


The Galaxy S4 reigns supreme in the global market.

Research firm Counterpoint revealed Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was the bestselling global smartphone in August, edging out the iPhone 5.

This is despite a two million unit slump from June where 7 million phones were sold. Counterpoint reports Samsung was the only vendor to register a monthly growth in August, due to the extensive Galaxy range which includes the Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy S duos and Galaxy Fame.

The Apple iPhone 5 16 and 32 GB models came in second and third place respectively behind the Galaxy S4 followed by the humble Nokia Asha 501. Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, S3 mini, S4 mini and S3 took out the next several spots. Nokia’s Asha 205 and 105 handsets closed out the list coming in at ninth and tenth place.

The report also reveals sales are slowing down due to a high exchange in used handsets from existing smartphone users. Despite this, the market is still growing at the rate of 40-50% a year with major growth coming from lower-end sales ranging in the US$200 segments.  

The market research team predicts sales of the Galaxy S4 could pick up based on holiday-season pricing. It is expected Samsung will sell 80 percent more S4 units than S3 handsets from initial launch to end of year, down from its prior prediction of 100 percent or more. Samsung's top spot means it can claim bragging rights over Apple, whose long-standing rivalry will surely continue into the next flagship release.

Source: Counterpoint | Image via CNET

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft talks about adding Bing Smart Search in Windows 8.1

Next Story

Cupertino, California's leaders approve building Apple's UFO headquarters

46 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Lots of interesting comments in here.

I wonder that if/when the iPhone 5s outsells the Galaxy S 4 people can claim that, "The Galaxy S4 is an old phone! People are waiting for the Galaxy S 5!" That should nullify any report about sales in regards to the iPhone 5s vs. GS4. Right?

Yes they will, as we can say that S4 it's newer than the iPhone 5, but the reality is that you have to analyse this in time and not in one month. If you want to really know if who it's selling more between the Galaxy S and the iPhone you we have to analyse this in time, visualize it and check the trends. This it's just a pic in the middle of a long race.

there are that many people without eyes, taste, common sense or experience with android? cos' if you got some of those you wouldnt buy a plastic tray like these samsung junks

morden said,
there are that many people without eyes, taste, common sense or experience with android? cos' if you got some of those you wouldnt buy a plastic tray like these samsung junks

I'm not sure, but do you know that the Polycarbonate are more premium as a material than aluminum?

And no, Polycarbonate is not just normal plastic as you makes us to believe.

Not only that, but Polycarbonate is used in bullet proof windows so they don't shatter. Go figure why we prefer Polycarbonate over Aluminum ANY DAYS.

i've got a lumia 920 so yeah, i know about polycarbonate - and a friend of mine has a GS4 which is nowhere near that quality (and no, you dont need to touch it, enough to look at it); hell, the back cover DEFORMED at the speaker grill because of the heat from the usb charger port

so yeah, polycarbonate is used in bulletproof windows but plastic from a cola bottle is used in the galaxy s4, period

and no, im not an apple fan (i dont even like their products) but ANYONE who says a GS4 is more premium (or looks more premium) than an iPhone is either blind or allergic to quality (which is a strong possibility in case of android fans)

morden said,
i've got a lumia 920 so yeah, i know about polycarbonate - and a friend of mine has a GS4 which is nowhere near that quality (and no, you dont need to touch it, enough to look at it); hell, the back cover DEFORMED at the speaker grill because of the heat from the usb charger port

so yeah, polycarbonate is used in bulletproof windows but plastic from a cola bottle is used in the galaxy s4, period

and no, im not an apple fan (i dont even like their products) but ANYONE who says a GS4 is more premium (or looks more premium) than an iPhone is either blind or allergic to quality (which is a strong possibility in case of android fans)


I believe that his Galaxy S4 are faulty here because of that.

I have never had any powerfull smartphones who have started to melt a little because of the heat. Not even with phones that have normal plastic (not Polycarbonate).

I have a Galaxy S4 my self, so i'm pretty sure about how much it can handle :-)

then you are a lucky chap, cheers
that does not make it a quality product

polycarbonate differs on a range of products, for example if i accidentally drop my lumia 920 on your gs4' backside it will need some duct tape to hold it together - how's that if they are SUPPOSEDLY the same material?

morden said,
then you are a lucky chap, cheers
that does not make it a quality product

polycarbonate differs on a range of products, for example if i accidentally drop my lumia 920 on your gs4' backside it will need some duct tape to hold it together - how's that if they are SUPPOSEDLY the same material?


Oh, in your analogy, i can say that it doesn't make it a bad product either just because your friend was unlucky with his device.

Oh also, when it's about the back cover and it's quality. Take a look at this on how crazy solid the covers are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qq0QHTOR2o

This one to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErXqnQKs-tA

Not only that, but that's from a Galaxy S2 witch only used normal plastic. Polycarbonate is even better and stronger than that even if Polycarbonate is as much bendableas the S2 cover.

i dont need to watch video, some of these tell you the iphone 5 doesnt get scratches

ive seen these products at real people who used it every day and their build and material quality is FAR behind of a nokia or apple product; fanboys wont agree with this (i dont blame you) but experience states otherwise

have luck with your next plastic tray

morden said,
i dont need to watch video, some of these tell you the iphone 5 doesnt get scratches

ive seen these products at real people who used it every day and their build and material quality is FAR behind of a nokia or apple product; fanboys wont agree with this (i dont blame you) but experience states otherwise

have luck with your next plastic tray

Feeling of the material in the hand is not the same as how the materials works in real life pal.

The chassis of the Galaxy S4 can withstand so much that the actual screen on the Galaxy S4 actually breaks before anything else breaks.

feeling of the material (and the look of it) is pretty important when they ask the price the S4 costs

and in real life it does not matter if it can withstand impact from a small spaceship - what matters is its scratch-resistance, discoloring factors, wearing - all of which the galaxy series fail hard (on cheaper models samsung still uses the fake chrome crap which wears like a fisher price kid's toy) but that cant come as a surprise if you actually have eyeballs to look and skin to feel the material; the S4 looks and feels cheap, thats something the series couldnt overcome over 4 incarnations

i wish the best for the s5 but knowing samsung and the trends it'll be a fast food place-standard plastic tray with a display and some logotypes but hey, there are some who has more moeny than taste

morden said,
feeling of the material (and the look of it) is pretty important when they ask the price the S4 costs

and in real life it does not matter if it can withstand impact from a small spaceship - what matters is its scratch-resistance, discoloring factors, wearing - all of which the galaxy series fail hard (on cheaper models samsung still uses the fake chrome crap which wears like a fisher price kid's toy) but that cant come as a surprise if you actually have eyeballs to look and skin to feel the material; the S4 looks and feels cheap, thats something the series couldnt overcome over 4 incarnations

i wish the best for the s5 but knowing samsung and the trends it'll be a fast food place-standard plastic tray with a display and some logotypes but hey, there are some who has more moeny than taste


How the materials works is way more imporant than how it looks and feels.

And, the looks of the iPhone is BAD today as it have been the same for ages. The looks of the Galaxy phones have changed from years to years.

Scratch resistant you say?

Have you seen any Galaxy S3's or Galaxy S4's that have been scratched up?

I had my Galaxy Note (the first one) for 1 years and 7 months before i went to a Galaxy S4 and it didn't had any scratches on it as they use a coating on the chassis that is to prevent scratches.

morden said,
feeling of the material (and the look of it) is pretty important when they ask the price the S4 costs

and in real life it does not matter if it can withstand impact from a small spaceship - what matters is its scratch-resistance, discoloring factors, wearing - all of which the galaxy series fail hard (on cheaper models samsung still uses the fake chrome crap which wears like a fisher price kid's toy) but that cant come as a surprise if you actually have eyeballs to look and skin to feel the material; the S4 looks and feels cheap, thats something the series couldnt overcome over 4 incarnations

i wish the best for the s5 but knowing samsung and the trends it'll be a fast food place-standard plastic tray with a display and some logotypes but hey, there are some who has more moeny than taste

Well you are comparing cheap phones to Lumia and iphones, obviously it's going to be different. Though, I've never seen any discolouration and being scratch prone like you say.

Note 3 and newer phones going forward have a leather like texture at the back.

Also note that many people use plastic, silicon cases for their iphones, which change feeling and look of the phone.

UXGaurav said,
It is proof that people want more features/value vs "simplified" products that do less.

No.

It is proof that newer products outsell older ones that are about to be superseded in a month.

Why hasn't anyone talked about this yet? Umm...
It says the best selling smartphone was the S4. Fair game, but then separates phone within size limitations. 2nd is the 5 16gb, and 3rd is 5 32gb.. It's still and Iphone 5 lmao.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 International version only comes as a single 16gb model of the phone. It's analogous to the 16gb iPhone 5. I thought they were up to something fishy too but upon further research it seems like a reasonable distinction to make (assuming I'm reading this properly). It would seem that the Galaxy S4 8/16/32gb models don't make the top-10: perhaps those are only popular in North America or Europe but the international version is big in Asia as well as NA/Eu markets and so jumps to the front. If Samsung has slapped the S4 badge on 30 different products and only 1 or two of them are popular then you'd expect something like this.

Either way, it doesn't seem like they've done anything particularly sneaky or dishonest.

The iPhone 5 it's one product, even if there are models with only storage memory differences, It's totally irrelevant if the S4 comes only in 16GB since it was also bought by people that wanted bigger memory (hint, they bought a SD card separately or reuse an old one). Also as any invalid report, there's no real quantities being discussed, heck not even percentage based data.

Galaxy minies, Galaxy X, they are simply not the same as S4 since they are not designed for the same market that the S4 and the iPhone 5 (at the time) adressed. They are not phones or phablets with just different storage but devices designed from the ground up to provide different user experiences.

> The iPhone 5 it's one product, even if there are models with only storage memory differences,

The iPhone 5 comes in 6 product numbers: 32gb black/white, 16gb black/white, 64gb black/white. They grouped black/white but treated size as distinct products.

They did the same with the galaxy s4: it comes in several different product numbers based on both available storage, color, and the sort of radio bundled. They grouped everything with a particular size/radio combination together and treaded them as a single model: basically the same as they handled the iPhone by ignoring color. One particular model of Samsung phone outsold everything else: a 16gb s4 model with a radio that works on several different bands.

> Also as any invalid report, there's no real quantities being discussed, heck not even percentage based data.

The report likely has good data; you just don't want to pay for it (and nor do I).
With what we know of Apple/Samsung quarterly reports their numbers don't seem totally out of line. Do you have any reason to call the report "invalid" or are you just frustrated that it doesn't read the way you might like it to? There's a difference between calling for caution when talking about paywalled studies and saying "Invalid, because reasons!", the former makes sense, the later begs for evidence to support the claim.

> Galaxy minies, Galaxy X, they are simply not the same as S4

Those are broken out just like the iPhone 5. Some of those other Samsung models make the top 10, some don't. Among those that don't: single-band and tri-band S4 8/16/32gb variants.

I'll take back the "invalid" part, you are right, I haven't checked the report.

My point is that a lot of analysis can be shaped to make it more favorable to one company or the other just by how it's grouped among other things. The article of the research firm site clearly states: "the Galaxy S4 was the bestselling smartphone in August" and then it breaks everything down to having different models.

No, the research might not be wrong or invalid, and even if we bought the report there might not be enough methodology details to debate that, but the press release is totally misleading.

In any case, this was clarified in the comments section of the press release were the admin mentioned:

"If we add up all the variations and versions of each model, the Galaxy S4 would still be ahead of iPhone 5 in August."

Guess there's not much to discuss now .

Dont worry. Apple already has the S4 in the works to be in another lawsuit...if it isnt already. Anything Samsung releases phone wise, Apple will sue. I think that is inevitable.

Anyway, I dont think the S4 is that great of a phone. But gimmicks sell.

TiffanyPiszko said,
Well Duh it is a better piece of hardware ...

That's the problem with Android fanboys, they only care about specifications (not that iPhones are slouches).

King Mustard said,

That's the problem with Android fanboys, they only care about specifications (not that iPhones are slouches).

it's not really specs, unless you're meaning just one. People are getting tired of the tiny screens on the iphones. that's the only spec that everyone notices.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was the bestselling global smartphone in August. August.

A lot has changed since then!

I have a feeling the Galaxy S4 won't hold that title in September and October.

Spicoli said,
I wonder how much longer before the low end takes over the market. You just don't have to spend that much money any more to get a good Windows smartphone.

Fixed that for you.

I know galaxy phones sell well but isn't this report stating an obvious since the 5 is old, and It picks a month everyone is waiting for the new iphone? Or am I missing the point?
Well, whatever makes SGS4 users feel better about their purchase :-)

Uplift said,
I know galaxy phones sell well but isn't this report stating an obvious since the 5 is old, and It picks a month everyone is waiting for the new iphone? Or am I missing the point?
Well, whatever makes SGS4 users feel better about their purchase :-)
The same happened last year...

This is because everyone knows the new iphones come out in september/october.

No sense in spending money on the old one when you can have the latest one waiting a few more weeks.

anothercookie said,
Don't tell them S4 is 4S backwards either.

regardless of what others say or do, and just thinking about JUST yourself, do you not see your comment as being babyish?

im sure you are a fully grown adult, and yet you have nothing better to do on a wednesday than to argue which phone is better, as if it really matters in an objective manner, when its really all about subjective.

Well looky here. Happy to see it doing this well. I myself would go with the Samsung Galaxy instead iPhone any day. If anything, it's shape is better.

Who would buy a Iphone 5 in August with Iphone 5s just around corner? I surprised it just edged iphone 5. S4 was kind of disappointment for me.

S4 relates to S3 about the same as 5S to 5. Then again people always tend to buy the newest and shiniest even if there are very little improvements. Hell, I would too.

Melfster said,
Who would buy a Iphone 5 in August with Iphone 5s just around corner?

Well, the 5c is pretty much the 5...so I would wager many people.