Despite surprisingly strong Galaxy S23 series sales, Samsung is not out of its slump... yet

Despite surprisingly strong Galaxy S23 series sales, Samsung is not out of its slump... yet
While most smartphone manufacturers would probably be overjoyed to sell more than 100 million units or even to come close to that mark in any given year, Samsung must have been disappointed to finish 2023 with "only" 226.6 million shipments around the world according to the IDC's independent market research.

That's both because that number was down from the company's 2022 total of over 260 million units and because Apple managed to surpass Samsung's global tally for a whole year for the first time in the mobile industry's history.

Undoubtedly hurt by the unprecedented loss, the smartphone market's former king started 2024 with an early Galaxy S24 series launch that looked like a resounding success by pretty much all indications. But what about all other Galaxy handsets and their cumulative January sales results?

So many interesting numbers to discuss

As you can imagine, Samsung is not very keen to officially reveal exactly how each of its high-end phones is performing at the global box-office, but that's where a generally reliable X tipster comes in today, reporting on third-party data apparently put together by an investment banking firm called Hana Securities.

While that obviously means all of these figures need to be taken with a proverbial grain of salt, there's really no reason to doubt the legitimacy of the Galaxy S23 family's 12-month sales total of 31.11 million units, for instance.

That would make the S23, S23 Plus, and S23 Ultra significantly more popular than the 2022-released S22 trio, mind you, which barely reached 24.99 million unit shipments during its first year of availability.

Another interesting stat disclosed by Revegnus today refers to the sales performance of each individual S23 model, with the Ultra apparently eclipsing the "Basic" and Plus versions at 14.34 to 11.08 and 5.68 million units respectively.

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While that pecking order is far from surprising, you have to wonder if it's really necessary for Samsung to release its flagships in three variants nowadays, with Plus models constantly pulling much weaker numbers than their siblings and thus looking less and less appealing to the masses.

Even more (positive and negative) stats to ponder

Although the S23 trio considerably outsold the S22 lineup and the S24 family got off to a flying start according to multiple sources, Samsung's overall 2023 smartphone sales were underwhelming (at best) and the same goes for the company's January 2024 total of 17.44 million units.

That last figure is down 11 percent from December 2023 and just 1 percent compared to January 2023, which is... still not great. So what phones are to blame for these mediocre results (at best) if the S23 and S24 series are performing swimmingly.

Galaxy A-series mid-rangers are evidently the prime suspects, but Samsung can't be delighted with the numbers generated by its latest high-end foldables either. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 apparently sold in 4.33 and 2.49 million copies respectively during their first six months on the market, more or less tying the 4.2 and 2.6 million unit shipments of the Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4 respectively in the same period of last year.

That's the sort of stagnation you never want to see happen in an otherwise fast-growing market segment where rival brands are undoubtedly boosting their sales scores quarter after quarter. On the bright side, at least Samsung's Z-series shipments are not declining... just yet.

Last but not least, if you need to put yet another number to the S24 family's (early) success story, it appears that Samsung sold 1.42 million units of those bad boys by the end of January alone, of which 830,000 were Ultras, 320,000 were "vanilla" flagships, and only 270K were Plus models. 

That's a trio of high-end handsets that barely started shipping around the world on January 24, so that's just the latest in an already long line of big numbers highlighting the very strong demand generated by these very good smartphones so far.

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