Galaxy S10 sales strong in Q1 2019 as overall phone shipments decline

Samsung Galaxy S10e
Samsung Galaxy S10e (Image credit: Android Central)
  • Smartphone sales down 18% in Q1 2019 in North America.
  • Samsung shipped 2 million units of both the Galaxy S10e and Galaxy S10+ in Q1.
  • The iPhone XR, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10+ make up 25% of the phone shipments in North America in the first quarter.

The first quarter of 2019 saw sales hit a five year low plummeting 18% in North America. Despite all of this, Samsung has seen great sales for it's new Galaxy S10 series.

In Q1 of 2019, it shipped 2 million units of both the Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10e. That more than doubles the number of shipments Samsung had last year in Q1 of 2018 with the Galaxy S9 models. However, it still was not able to keep up with the behemoth that is Apple, which shipped 4.5 million iPhone XR phones in the same timeframe.

Between these three handsets, it makes up 25% of the phone shipments in the North American market for the first quarter of 2019.

By scheduling an earlier release date, making design changes, and providing more buying options, Samsung was able to narrow the gap with Apple.

Consumers were intrigued by the hole-punch display, in-display fingerprint sensor, ultra-wide angle camera, and reverse wireless charging. None of which are new to phones, but it is the first time a lot of these features were mass-marketed to U.S. consumers.

Another way Samsung benefited in Q1 was with carrier promotions for the Galaxy S10e. As we get further into the year, those benefits will begin to fade away with other companies releasing new phones.

Competition is already beginning to heat up with the release of the Pixel 3a phones from Google, and the imminent release of the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. ZTE is also looking to make a comeback after all of its recent troubles.

It's no secret phone sales are on the decline. The smartphone market is saturated, and between competition and rising prices in the premium sector, it's becoming harder to push new phones every year. That is why we're seeing a shift in the focus to midrange phones and budget flagships from many brands.

Jason England