Is The Galaxy Series Getting Bigger Than Android?
This is a Guest post by Harish Jonnalagadda who is a market analyst at MySmartPrice. An avid reader, he is usually found reading Sci-Fi novels in his free time. He is also a fanatic gamer and a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
Samsung has been riding a high that has started ever since it has launched the original Galaxy S in 2010. Since then, it has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with its Galaxy brand, and has managed to dethrone Nokia as the number one handset manufacturer. Samsung has managed to market the Galaxy series so effectively that nowadays most users are not even aware that the underlying architecture on a Galaxy-based mobile is Google’s Android. The Galaxy name has become ubiquitous with Android, to such an extent that users believe that an Android device automatically means something made by Samsung.
Statistics of Samsung’s success with the Galaxy series
It is no wonder as to why users are confusing the Android name with the Galaxy series. In the first quarter of 2013, Android sales totalled $5.3 billion across the world, out of which Samsung’s sales accounted for $5.1 billion. The other $0.2 billion is what has been made by other Android vendors like LG, Sony, HTC and various other vendors cumulatively. This huge divide shows just how dominant Samsung has been in the Android arena. The Korean giant has managed to sell over 64.7 million mobiles in the first quarter alone, and this is without factoring in the newly launched Galaxy S4, which has hit store shelves last month. Already the sales estimates for the S4 are high, with Samsung CEO JK Shin mentioning that they sold 10 million S4 units by the end of May. That is a staggering number considering all other Android manufacturers combined cannot aim to achieve such goals. A recently conducted research study indicated that Samsung is earning more from Android than Google is.
Samsung is seeing a record year-on-year growth. The S3 last year saw sales exceeding 40 million in the first 6 months it was available, and the S4 looks to beat those targets. It is not just the Galaxy S series that is bringing in the cash. Samsung’s success can be attributed to heavy marketing, with the manufacturer making sure that its launch events get the media attention they deserve. Also, another factor is down to the fact that Samsung manufactures a lot of the hardware that goes on its Galaxy series of mobiles. From the fab unit that makes Exynos to the facility manufacturing flash memory, it is all controlled in-house at Samsung. A survey showed that half of the manufacturing cost of a S4 goes back into Samsung as it makes most of the hardware itself. This level of control means that its mobiles do not face the same manufacturing delays that are becoming all-too common these days. This in turn has translated to huge revenues from sales. A look at the Samsung mobile price list shows all the mobiles that the manufacturer sells in India, and from this we can clearly see that they are going from strength to strength when it comes to device sales across all market segments.
Shifting of focus from Samsung
Samsung is now the biggest Android vendor by such a huge margin that it has Google running scared. Former Android head Andy Rubin has said as much when asked as to why LG was chosen as the device manufacturer for the Nexus 4. This statement edifies the situation Google is in. Samsung’s reliance on Android is very obvious, and its success over the years can be directly attributed to the way Android has evolved. One only has to look at Nokia’s troubles to understand that the mobile ecosystem has a huge hand in the success of a handset. Google is now concerned that Samsung has become too big, and that if Samsung decides to leave Android in favour of another ecosystem, like Tizen, then there will a huge decline in Android’s growth. Samsung, meanwhile, is moving away from Android for the reason that it does not want to rely on Google too much. Whatever the case might be, it is more than likely that we will see a high-end mobile from Samsung running Tizen this year, maybe even as early as August. Samsung, incidentally, owns the licensing rights for Tizen.
It looks more and more likely that Samsung will wean away from Android totally in the coming years. Although it has enjoyed a vast amount of success with its alliance with Google, Samsung is trying to be self-sufficient and is building an entire mobile ecosystem toward that regard. While this may seem inherently difficult, as we have seen with Microsoft and its foray into the mobile world with Windows Phone, Samsung’s strength lies in the fact that its Galaxy series of mobiles are some of the best-selling mobiles in the world. Whatever the situation might be in the future, it is clear that for now, Samsung has single-handedly managed to achieve more success on the Android ecosystem than all other manufacturers combined.