Galaxy S20 sales slump isn’t just because of COVID-19

JC Torres - Mar 18, 2020, 6:29am CDT
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Galaxy S20 sales slump isn’t just because of COVID-19

The Galaxy S20 is already experiencing a rather disappointing turnout as far as sales are concerned. Given the global situation, it’s almost too easy to point to the COVID-19 coronavirus as the cause. To some extent, that has indeed affected sales but it isn’t the only reason. Industry sources are now predicting that the Galaxy S20 will actually sell fewer units compared to the Galaxy S10 from the same period last year and part of it may also be Samsung’s fault.

To be fair, the Galaxy S10’s performance in the market wasn’t completely smooth-sailing either. After an explosive first few months, figures tapered in the second quarter of 2019. The Galaxy S20 series might follow that same curve but it is already off to a disappointing start as far as sales numbers go.

Part of it is the COVID-19 virus which has drastically reduced the number of people going to stores to test out the new phone. In South Korea, however, the Galaxy S20 also got lower subsidies from carriers, which made the already expensive price tags bite harder. It isn’t certain whether those were also caused by the coronavirus or if it was the result of a break down in negotiations.

Finally, Samsung may have also incorrectly guessed which of the three Galaxy S20 models would sell the most. It predicted that the Galaxy S20+, the “Goldilocks” of the models, would see the most demand. Instead, it was the Galaxy S20 Ultra that saw the most interest, forcing Samsung to order more components like the 108 megapixel ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor while cutting demands for other Galaxy S20 parts.

This incorrect estimation also happened with the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ last year, both resulting in a pile-up of inventory. Given all those factors, including what some see as overpricing, Samsung may have a harder time fending off the competition this half of the year.


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