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High-end smartphones account for just 29% of Samsung's sales in Q1 2017

Samsung posted a record $7.8 billion operating profit in Q4 2016, but it looks like the company isn't making as much money from high-end devices as it previously used to. In a report published today, The Investor shared findings from South Korean investment fund Hana Financial Investment, which stated that the revenue from high-end smartphones accounted for just 29% of Samsung's global sales in Q1 2017. That's down from the 40% the company enjoyed in 2015 on the back of the Galaxy S4.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics noted that the average selling price of Samsung phones in 2016 was $232 globally, down from $289 in 2015. It's no secret that the smartphone segment is plateauing in developed markets, and as a result Samsung is increasingly looking to India and China to drive growth.

Samsung noted "improved profitability" in the entry-level and mid-range segment in Q4 2016, and the company is looking to boost the competitiveness of its budget offerings by introducing features that were previously limited to the high-end segment. Case in point: the Galaxy A 2017 series now comes with water resistance and 16MP cameras. The Galaxy J series — Samsung's best-selling lineup in India — is also set to pick up new features for 2017.

Samsung will be hoping to increase revenue from high-end devices in the coming quarters, which will undoubtedly be aided by the release of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

13 Comments
  • Several manufacturers produce high-end devices with lower prices than Samsung's. So only blind loyalists would pay $700+ for a Galaxy smartphone.
  • yap, $700 is too low for the sheeple. It should be between $1000-2000 range and must be technologically dinosaur within 6-7 months after its release. Gotta buy the latest, greatest & shiniest toy worth $$$, right? :) Not just singling out Sammy but All.
  • Tbf Q1 2017 should be the worst period for high end Samsung smartphones right? New flagship close to arriving and the note 7 debacle
  • Um really? Q1? Before the new flagships have been released in Q2? These numbers can lead you to say that Sammy isn't selling as many high-end phones as they used to? Then back it up with 2-year old sales figures? Not a very good assumption.
  • Well, its kind of hard to say this without putting an asterisk because their "high end" sales. The note 7 got a worldwide recall which kept them from having their best device on the market. This information might me a bit skewed. But yes, Samsung does make a ton of other devices that are priced across the entire spectrum of smartphone devices.
  • Curious to know the penetration of emerging markets now compared to flagship peak sales with the s4. I am wondering if the lower and mid range push into India and the like have a big impact on this number and therefore certainly not a bad thing. Diverse sales is stronger long term then only relying on flagships.
  • I like how over at AndroidAuthority, they explain clearly why Samsung's high-end phones % fell. It's because their low-end devices are selling like hotcakes in emerging markets. It's not that Samsung is making less money off their flagships, it's that their low-end outsold previous expectations. Which makes it seem like their flagship is losing shares. But in actuality, Samsung is just selling more phones in more places.
  • Exactly and if you exactly do the math it translates to about 30 million sold in the quarter . Who else other them Apple is close
  • Well, we live in a world where midranger phones are really good.
  • I always said that 2016 was the year of the midrange with the Honor 8, One Plus Three, Moto Z Play, and Axon 7. They've made great strides and the gap is closing on premium flagship devices in terms of build quality, features and cameras. I enjoy my used S7edge, for which I purchased for $460 last October. One of the best decisions I made when it comes to smartphones was restricting myself to a price bracket. I love new tech, rumors and leaks, and launch days and press events. I'll research devices like I'm going to buy them, but in all reality...I won't buy it until it falls in my price range.
  • Yep, Samsung sells more of its J series phones than the S series. http://www.tweaktown.com/news/56840/apple-iphone-6s-best-selling-smartph...
  • By my math they sold closer to 80 million in the quarter . That translates to about 29 million S phones sold . What other Android flagship sold any where near that figure . Amazing how we put a spin on all things Samsung. What the article didn't mention is that's 30 % of the almost 80 million sold
  • would it be wrong to assume that it's exactly because the J series is Samsung's best-selling series that they don't want to update the J-phones to Marshmallow or Nougat (2015/2016)? perhaps they just expect people to buy these yearly upgrades because they sell like hot cakes?