The lukewarm success of Galaxy S9… What would explain this?
The lukewarm success of Galaxy S9… What would explain this?
  • Dan Yoo 기자
  • 승인 2018.03.13 10:50
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Galaxy S9 has shown rather lukewarm success in its early days on the market. As an explanation, the dominant industry analysis points to the expensive pricing and no significant specification improvements in the device compared to its predecessor Galaxy S8.

Since its official distribution through domestic network providers on the 9th, the first day sales of the devices sold 24,255 sets, followed by second day sales figure of 19,480 sets.

If one considers net sales during the two day timeframe, SK Telecom’s sales demonstrate a decrease, from 577 (9th) to 409 (10th). KT scored a 35 sales increase on the second day, while 352 was scored on the 9th. Meanwhile, LG U+ secured the purchase of 225 (9th) and 374 (10th) respectively.

Given that 30,000 network-changing transactions are normally made on the first day, the new launch can be said to have scored relatively low. For example, the device’s predecessor Galaxy S8 marked the sales of 46,380 sets on its first release, followed by 22,907 on the next day, which is often highlighted as unprecedented device sales.

Pre-order sales, which have been ongoing since the 28th of last month, only amounts to 70-80% of that of Galaxy S8, and the actual sales remained at 70% of its predecessor’s sales figures. According to on-site sales representatives, Galaxy S8 sales outstrip that of the new product.

Industry experts analyse, “As S9 does not present any innovative features compared to the previous device, it is relatively less appealing to customers.” The main technical feature of Galaxy S9 is the adoption of the dual-aperture, which generates a human eye effect and a significantly improved camera function.

As a part of differentiated marketing strategy, the device also adopted AR Emoji that creates emojis that resemble the user’s human facial expressions – which are intended to enhance the visual communication experience. 

Although Galaxy S9 received positive appraisals for its design and technical specifications, the dominant reaction is that the device does not present any uniqueness. Another analysis postulates that customers are delaying their purchase until mobile phone subsidies are issued, in order to avoid high one-time payment price. 

Galaxy S9 64GB, priced at 957,000 KRW, can be purchased with an upfront cash payment of 600,000 KRW, with a monthly stipulation of 60,000 KRW. The device upgrade costs 50,000 KRW more than the aforementioned offer.

The industry identifies two factors in the sluggish sales of the new device: the increase of device turnover period and the decreased waiting demands caused by a hastened release date.

The analysis is that the release of Galaxy S8 and S9 are within the timeframe of less than a year; moreover, Galaxy S9 was released just five months after the launch of Galaxy Note S8, which reduced the expected demand.

It is also estimated that the global increase in smartphone device turnover period contributed to the lower sales. 

Still, the security market holds an optimistic view on the prospect of Galaxy S9.Hyun Woo Park, a research analyst at Shinhan Investment Corporation expressed, “Upon reflecting on the effect of the early release of Galaxy S9, I estimate the total annual release of 45 million devices.” “The estimation is 15% higher than the sales figure of Galaxy S8.” The fact that no premium device will be launched by competitors during the first half of the year bodes well for S9’s prospects.

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