Samsung expects the base Galaxy S21 to be the most popular model - Samsung has set a conservative Galaxy S21 5G shipments goal

Samsung has set a conservative Galaxy S21 5G shipments goal


The Galaxy S20 series massively underperformed and Samsung has learned some valuable lessons, as demonstrated by the rather conservative Galaxy S21 shipments goal.

Samsung doesn’t expect strong Galaxy S21 demand

The Elec is reporting that Samsung has set an internal shipments goal of 26 million units for the new Galaxy S21 series, meaning it could become one of the least popular Galaxy S lines ever. The breakdown of that number is led by the base Galaxy S21 model with 10 million units. Both the Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra, on the other hand, are expected to achieve shipments of 8 million units each.

The combined total is understood to be a conservative estimate based on the performance of last year’s Galaxy S20 range. The latter also shipped 26 million units but was original estimated to reach 35 million units.

The good news is that Samsung’s shipment prediction for the Galaxy S21 line could be modified as soon as next month once the launch is over and demand for the first quarter is clearer. Most of the company’s Galaxy S sales take place during the first three months post-launch. Strong initial demand is, therefore, crucial to long-term sales and shipment numbers.

Others expect the Galaxy S21 series to reach 30 million shipments

While Samsung itself is being cautious with estimates at the moment, some people expect the Galaxy S21 series to outperform the previous-gen Galaxy S20 range by a decent margin.

This is primarily down to improved economic activity across the globe, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and each model’s lower prices. Marketing is still expected to play a key role in Europe and the US, though.

The Elec reports that industry analysts have listed 30 million units as a more realistic shipments goal, which would be good news for Samsung. That is still significantly less than the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S9 lineups, though.

Samsung’s 2019 lineup was met with positive reviews and ultimately reached shipments of 37 million units, whereas the Galaxy S9 range saw the South Korean brand ship 35 million flagships.

There’s more good news for Samsung and its flagships

Samsung hasn’t posted official pre-order numbers for the Galaxy S21 series, but initial reports have suggested that demand is around 15-20% higher than the Galaxy S20 series in the company’s home market of South Korea.

Whether that stronger demand is being experienced in other global markets such as Europe is unclear, but the brand is undoubtedly in a good position at the moment to sell flagships.

Unlike past launches, the Galaxy S21 series faced almost no competition. Huawei is no longer a threat and is in talks to sell its flagship brands, while Oppo and others aren’t expected to announce new phones until March.

Apple is perhaps Samsung’s biggest rival at this stage because the iPhone 12 series is only three months old, but some could argue that the companies are targeting different groups of customers. 
Later in the year, the Galaxy S21 range may also benefit from the lack of a Galaxy Note 21 series. In recent years there has been a significant overlap between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines, but without a 2021 model Samsung should be able to transfer most of those marketing resources to the Galaxy S21.

Only time will tell how the Galaxy S21 line performs in the long-term, but with the poorly received Galaxy S20 setting the benchmark for sales this year, the only way is up for Samsung.



Joshua Swingle

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