Both the Yonhap and Chosun news agencies of Korea are reporting that Samsung Mobile President JK Shin has confirmed 20 million Galaxy S4 handsets have been sold since the phone launched around the end of April. The Verge has a handy graphic below comparing sales of the Galaxy S4, S III, and S II against the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 from their respective launch dates. As you can see, if the 20 million figure is correct, Samsung is quickly closing in on Apple's "single model sales" crown.


The iPhone 5S (or whatever it's called) will undoubtedly push the bar a bit higher, but judging by the rate at which Samsung's Galaxy S line is gaining steam, the successor to the Galaxy S4 may well be the tipping point in this closely-watched race.

Samsung's massive marketing budget, along with the general critical acclaim and enthusiastic user reception the Galaxy S4 has received, are obviously putting the company on the fast track to success in mobile. While it is easy to knock Samsung as being a purveyor of cheap plastic and low-end budget phones, the success of its top-tier model is one thing you can't argue with. While it may not yet have Apple's profit margins, the mind-share factor is something Cupertino has to be sweating a bit.

Yonhap, Chosun via The Verge

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • angel_spain

    I won't say it isn't true, but do you guys see many S4s around you in your countries? Because all I see are S3s. I haven't seen any S4 yet but in shops, and trust me spanish people will shout at your face that they have a S4 if they had it.

    I don't know, could there be a fake amount just to be increase hype? We know most of people just think "it sold millions, has to be best".

    PS: by the way it's funny those "iPhone projections", I really thought that was legit data, not an estimation.

    • Troy Myers

      I'm in the states, and I have seen many. And my region is normally iPhone country

    • Jokesy

      How can you possibly differentiate S3 from S4 at a quick glance in public?

      Walk into a random store, ask the salesperson if S4 is really moving, I'm sure the answer will be yes because that's what it is in my country

      • JamJamBoom

        Quick glance?

        Front: Sensors. S3 has a huge one and they aren't on line with the earpiece. Plus S3 has 3 and S4 has 4.

        Sides. S4 has no taper

        Back: Camera has a vertical arrangement on S4. Only two things. S3 has 3 in a horizontal arrangement.

        Am i the only one who thinks its easy to spot the differences within a few seconds?

        • Anthony Walker

          The easiest way to spot an S4 is to look at the screen. The screen is bigger, sharper and more vivid.

    • Casin

      I've seen 1 or 2 S4s so far excluding my own. The Note 2 seems to have cornered the Asian mom market though. S3s are still really popular. I've seen a few Nexus 4s but no HTC One yet.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        >> The Note 2 seems to have cornered the Asian mom market though.

        Totally agree. And, there are still people thinking that big phones won't sell. I've heard many women saying that they wanted a Note, more than a S#. They just don't mind the size of the phones because everyone of them put their phones into their bags. It just shows how good Steve Jobs was in distorting the reality -- he seemed to convince people that cellphones has to be put into your pants' pocket. But this is clearly not the case for everyone.

        • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

          as an asian I perfectly understand it.

    • TY

      By sold, Samsung means "shipped to carriers/retailers". Apple means "arrived at customers' hands". Retailers may have overestimated the demand for the Galaxy S4.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        Except that no one knows what they mean by sold in this instance. In fact, I'm pretty sure Samsung has stated on multiple occasions they mean end consumers.

        • TY

          Well, if Samsung really means sold to users, I tend not to believe it due to 2 reasons:

          1. angel_spain's and my own observation. Relatively few S4s than S3s in the street.

          2. Previous records. Take Galaxy Tab 7.0 as an example.
          From Wikipedia: " In January 2011 Samsung announced they had shipped 2 million units to
          stores. In August 2012, actual sales figures were released in the patent
          infringement court case against Apple showing that a total of 1.4M
          Galaxy Tabs were sold from launch to Q2 2012."

          • Anon

            Please don't be ridiculous. Your second point might have some merit but anecdotal evidence is not a solid base for a argument. Can you link to where Apple says sales are counted based on end users?

      • Anthony Walker

        That's not true at all. Apple reports shipped numbers like everyone else. They can only keep track of those that "arrived at customers' hands" if it is purchased directly from Apple.

    • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

      That's because there are a lot more S3s sold in total. I recalled that Samsung stated that they sold 40 millions of S3s back in Jan -- that's almost half year from now.

    • crackinthewall

      Probably because the SIII has been sold for over a year now and clones really look just like the original. The S4 has just been in the market for over two months now and that's what the article is comparing: the first two months of each phones.

    • Michael Quinn

      heaps of s4's and note 2's all around me. Melbourne, Australia.

    • fwb

      You must be right. The highly scientific estimate of seeing what random people on the street have is never wrong.

  • Matthew Fleisher

    I see S3's everywhere I go (including the 2 in my house) but I haven't noticed any S4's yet.

  • Saus

    Funny how the S3 sold 10 million before launch and Samsung announced higher sales figures than what this apple biased chart shows. Figures are incorrect.

  • Justin Quang

    In San Jose, CA (the kingdom of fruit phone):
    S4: more than a few
    S3: a lot
    Fruit phone: everywhere

    • Anthony Walker

      That's been my observation of NYC too. I would also add more than a few Note 2s to the list.

  • Jaun Lombard

    There is a lot of S3, S3 mini (girls) and S4's in South Africa. Samsung's customer care is really awesome in SA that is why we buy it. The S4 is cheaper (on Contract) on every network than the Xperia Z in SA plus you get more data with it! In SA we get free WiFi every month with a Samsung product plus a warranty that if you should drop your phone TWICE and break it...they will replace your broken screen for free...and if you drop it in water they will fix it too!!

  • John Tresidder

    I see many note II's and s4's. I'd like to see what the note II's have done sales wise. Since Samsung is basically competing with themselves by releasing different phones within months of each other.