Report sees S6, S6 Edge selling 50 million-plus

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Report sees S6, S6 Edge selling 50 million-plus

With a week to go to the release of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, a market research firm predicts Samsung Electronics will sell more than 50 million of its new flagship smartphones this year.

Sales of the S6 series will surpass the record of Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which sold 45 million, according to a report by the Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research.

“We expect this will be the most successful Galaxy S model Samsung has launched so far, surpassing even the Galaxy S4,” said the report’s summary.

In the report titled “Galaxy S6: Can It Change the Course of Samsung?” Counterpoint Research went on to predict the latest model could sell more than 55 million if the curved display can be manufactured without delays.

“We believe the metal casing and curved display will be difficult to produce even for Samsung, and it will cause a delay in the initial shipments of the Galaxy S6 Edge,” the report said.

“With such constraints cleared, we believe the Galaxy S6 and Edge can exceed 55 million units this year.”

The report cited the curved screen on the Edge as a major selling point, calling it a “unique feature” that many Galaxy users asked for.

Lee Seung-hyuk, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities, concurs with high expectations for the Edge.

“We believe that the Edge will account for 60 percent of S6 series sales,” said Lee.

“So whether the pace of parts production can keep pace with the demand will determine the sales performance,” he added.

Besides the curved screen, some analysts believe the timing of the release is likely to work in Samsung’s favor.

The release of Galaxy S4 was two years ago, and its users are likely to replace it with on of the S6 models, given that the average replacement period for cell phones is two years in many countries.

The market report also indicated there will be mergers and acquisitions as smaller vendors compete for a share of the global smartphone market dominated by tech behemoths Samsung and Apple and lower-tier manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi.

“We also believe that the market is ripe for consolidation. Local brands are proliferating and it is almost a jungle out there,” the report said. “Smaller brands are very vulnerable and there is very little profit being made. In most cases, this is when consolidation strikes.”

It cited Samsung as “a consolidator” of the competitive market, adding that Huawei and Xiaomi also might make moves.

The Counterpoint Research forecast is the latest optimistic sales report for the upcoming the S6 series.

Last month, DRAMeXchange predicted Samsung will sell more than 55 million units of its new premium smartphones this year.

The market intelligence firm revised its outlook up by more than 20 percent from its previous prediction.

BY PARK EUN-JEE, KIM HYUN-YE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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