May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said it sold 10 million units of its latest flagship Galaxy smartphone within a month of its release -- about half the time it took the previous model to reach that benchmark.
Galaxy S4 sales to retailers surpassed 10 million in 27 days, compared with 50 days for the S3, Nam Ki-yung, spokesman for the Suwon, South Korea-based company, said by phone today. The new device was released April 26 in South Korea and passed the mark on May 22, Nam said.
Samsung’s newest addition to its four-year-old Galaxy franchise may help the company maintain its leadership in the $294 billion global smartphone market amid rising competition from LG Electronics Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co. Apple Inc., which sold 5 million units of its iPhone 5 during the opening weekend in September, may not release a model until next quarter.
Samsung had 31.7 percent of the global smartphone market in the first quarter, ahead of Apple’s 17.3 percent and LG’s 4.7 percent, according to data from Bloomberg Industries and IDC. Samsung, LG and Huawei each gained share from a year earlier while Apple’s declined.
Apple’s share by sales value, at 31.8 percent, is higher than its unit share because it sells higher-value devices.
Released around the same time as HTC Corp.’s One handset, the Galaxy S4 received mixed reviews with AllThingsDigital’s Walt Mossberg saying the software is “especially weak,” while Bloomberg News’s Rich Jaroslovsky described it as “soulless.” Mashable’s Christina Warren called the S4 the best Android smartphone.
Analysts including Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray Cos. had predicted Apple would release an iPhone 5S in June and changed that timeline to September after Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said last month that new products would be released in the fall.
In addition to leading the global smartphone market, Samsung dominates profits among makers of handsets using Google Inc.’s Android system, which accounted for 75 percent of all smartphones sold last quarter. Samsung took 95 percent of the $5.3 billion in operating profits generated by Android device makers last quarter, researcher Strategy Analytics said May 16.
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