Samsung’s Galaxy S4 dead in the water

By , Jun 7, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 (four-up, red, blue)

Following clickbait dead-in-the-water headlines which spelled doom for Apple on overzealous analysts projecting overly optimistic iPhone sales, it’s now Samsung’s turn to feel Wall Street’s wrath. So, is Samsung’s smartphone business running out of steam?

That’s the question Wall Street is pondering as investors punish the South Korean firm after orders for its flagship Galaxy S4 had supposedly dropped by as much as thirty percent.

Friday, Samsung shares slid by more than six percent after more than $12 billion was sliced from the Android maker’s market capitalization. Can Samsung stop the downward spiral, perhaps offering a stock buyback as Apple did? Or are we seeing only the latest signs of an industry-wide slowdown in demand?

Either way, the old saying about people living in glass houses seems all the more pertinent…

The money quote comes via The Wall Street Journal-owned MarketWatch:

The share price decline was reminiscent of the fall in Apple Inc. shares earlier this year, which was sparked by concerns over iPhone sales.

Analyst firm J.P Morgan said a thirty percent decline in Galaxy S4 orders would likely disappoint investors. Some on Wall Street expected thirty million units to be sold throughout the third quarter.

In May, Samsung announced it had sold ten million Galaxy S4 handsets into the channel during the first 28 days of availability. Note that Samsung’s quarterly earnings do not divulge smartphone sales for competitive reasons.

Although that was more sales than any previous Galaxy launch, it didn’t hold a candle to demand for Apple’s latest. Apple sold five million iPhone 5 units in three days when the device became available in September 2012.

The response to Samsung’s slump on Wall Street closely follows an early reaction when reports claimed iPhone orders were off in 2012, suggesting a slowdown in sales. Indeed, talk of an iPhone slowdown prompted a rash of ‘dead in the water’ headlines.

Apple’s falling stock was halted after the company in April beat Wall Street’s revenue estimates. But even though Apple reported its first drop in profits in ten years, investor attention concentrated more on a planned $100 million buyback and a fifteen percent boost to quarterly dividends.

Samsung has become the face of Android, leading sales for Google’s mobile operating system.

Earlier this week, Flurry said that while Android leads in sheer unit volume, Apple controls two major areas of the mobile environment: apps and profits. Consequentially, Android struggles against a fragmented market where most of the handsets have old versions of the software.

Also, owners of iPhones, Android users view apps as an after-thought. So far, Samsung is mum on how it plans to stop the bleeding – if it can.

It’s fun comparing headlines over at Business Insider:

On Apple, dated April 26, 2011: “IT’S OFFICIAL: Android Clobbering Everyone, iPhone Dead In The Water”

And then on March 14 2013: “CHART OF THE DAY: The iPhone’s Market Share Is Dead In The Water”

And today: “SAMSUNG SMASHED: $12 Billion Disappears In Market Cap As Smartphone Sales Slow”

Hey, at least ours isn’t capitalized!

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  • jocastro

    ahhhhh ok.

  • ed scott

    Apple will always outsell samsung, they appeal to a much wider range of peopke:) but the s4, as an owner and weathered user of both, outstrips the iphone 5 in nearly every way, other than design quality and original ease of use. I wish I missed my iphone more:(

    • Ignacio Irigoyen

      Been that the s4 is the newest flagship and the iphone 5 is an old model by now this is an obvious outcome. They one up each other on each release, so it is also a good conclution that the iphone 5s will be better than the S4, and then the S5 will be better, and then iphone 6 and so on

      • ed scott

        Meh in my opinion unless apple adds an ir blaster, a bigger screen, nfc and wireless charging, and something other than better camera/faster processor the 5S wont be better, the possibilities with the S4 features are far greater than a slightly updated iphone 5 and a new software (although I am excited about ios 7)

      • Ignacio Irigoyen

        Have in mind that better internals, new OS features, better camera and a little more screen where the improvements from the S3

      • ed scott

        Aannndd the ir blaster toooo;) pls the screen proximity sensors and air gensture sensor too, although pointless to some, a big ground for developers! But agreed, I love both phones, just think the s4 has a lot of future potention without having to replace the hardware! But very keen for apple to do something exciting in the next year, which I expect it to do

      • Ignacio Irigoyen

        I really wish for them to do something awesome

      • mehrab

        Umm about the future btw the 2 year old a5 chip still supports ios 6 and plays all games and apps without dropping a frame the a6 has twice the cpu and 4x the gpu its freaking future proof lol the a5 isnt even dropping a beat and you say that. The gs3 is a laggy oiece of crap the gs4 is also very laggy cos of poor optimisation and it cant handle that hi res screen btw the iphone5 is still the speed king of all smartphones

      • mehrab

        The iphone 5 takes overall better pictures and video
        And is also faster and smoother then the 8-core gs4 if you jailbreak you can make ios very flexible there are coool things you can do with jailbreak you can also do some cool stuff with roms and shit on android too
        I”d rather use the iphone 5 for 2 years then the gs4 mainly bcos of the camera performace and the brighter more color accurate screen the ecosystem jailbreaking and other stuff

      • ed scott

        Thing is, I prefer the camera and screen on the s4:/ I want vibrant colours even if they arent accurate, and to me the s4 just feels like a jailbroken i5 with a massive screen, I also like that of feels fresh, had ios since 2007, I dunno, ill stay on s4 till iphone changes radically;)

      • BoardDWorld

        The S4 sucks, I know it’s going to take you until the next model for you to admit it but least many of us aren’t so numb as to go out and waste money… It’s fair enough to get bored of a device and buy something different but you would have to be an idiot to support that decision by saying any Android is better than an iPhone as yet.

      • ed scott

        Gonna ignore most of what you said cause its arrogant ignorance, but I was given the phone free as compensation by my network thanks.

      • mehrab

        The camera on the s4 is not better sorry
        Vibrant colors are nice
        But the s4″s are much too much

      • Juan Herrera

        will with apple planning on expanding their selctions a bit i think that’ll all change too

      • Prasoon Singh

        iPhone 5 is an old model? I just got the iPhone 5 last weekend and it’s amazing!

    • Stephen Hucks

      Well I hope the s4 would beat the 5, wait and compare the 5s to the s4.

    • pjs_boston

      Paid Samsung shill…

      • ed scott

        Ha, if only;)

      • pjs_boston

        Unpaid Samsung dupe.

        Even more pathetic.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Ignoramus Apple worshipper…

      • ed scott

        Woah, rather unescessary, considering anyone who says samsung sucks is making themselves look pretty stupid, I won’t disagree with someone who says theyre both excellent companies and phones, but the s4 quite obviously is a great phone, as is the iphone, anyone who argues otherwise has never had any real experience with the s4

    • Dixon

      Camera quality doesnr only depend on megapixel ;) do u exactly know the chip which is used !? U dont know which ine will be in the I5S so how can you say that !?
      Regarding Processor, the S3 had 4 core, I5 only dual core but please go check benchmark test .. In some of the test the I5 even was better .. The same will be with the I5s … if the I5s really doubles his PPI ln the screen then the S4 Screen quality is worth a shit ;) ofc S4 is a great Phone.. Thats must be said !!
      But Iphone and samsung different kind of Customers !!

      U ever thought about that some people dont like such a big screen !? And that is what apple knows !!
      So ur screen argument doesnt count !!!!

      Me for example i dont wann have a Smartphone which can almost obly be used with 2 hands :)
      Sorry for my bad english, but i think u get the points im talking about

    • batongxue

      We have to Give some Thanks and Applause to the HTC one

  • n0ahcruz3

    No one stays on top forever.

  • Ian

    Samsung still stinks..

  • felixtaf

    Looks like Samsung cut off their funds too… Wallstreet stinks when they dont get money… First Apple… Now Samsung…

  • Taf Khan

    Samdoomed!

  • mehrab

    Aww poor samsung

  • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

    dang, Samsung’s phones are ugly.

  • Andy

    No surprises here

  • Erny Carrillo

    Iphone came available in april???? Im sorry but i5 came out in sept 2012. Not april

  • Marvin

    “Apple sold five million iPhone 5 units in three days when the device became available in April 2012.”
    it became aviable 21. September 2012 didnt it?

    • Raul Henriquez

      yep typo or misinformed

    • Brian

      Also, “talk of an iPhone slowdown prompted a rash of ‘dead in the water’ headlines.”

      Yes it was quite the itchy rash.

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      Bad typo indeed. It’s been fixed. Thank you

      • Marvin

        No problem, we are all just humans :D

  • leart za jmi

    Nice remote control with camera

  • STK10

    maybe some people are waiting for the s4 active for work etc

  • http://www.lazyprogrammers.com Eugene Kim

    Funny how Wall St never gets a “Dead in the Water” headline, even after it tanks the entire global economy.

    • Gorgonphone

      cause they are connected to the feds and all large companies..lol

    • don108

      That’s because newspapers and news media aren neither liberal nor conservative: they’re corporatist. Owned and support by big businesses, it’s in their genes to defend their owners and money sources.

  • Fadil Karim

    “most of the [android] handsets have old versions of the software” is an incorrect statement. When you look at the numbers of handsets running jelly been and Ice cream sandwich, less than half of handsets are running an older version of android.

    • milksop held

      But icecream sandwich is an older version of the software and jelly bean 4.1.x is too

      • Fadil Karim

        Yeah, technically your right, but I see anything with a 4.x.x as new, because really, jellybean is an incremental update to ice cream sandwich. It’s not like 5.x.x.

      • RarestName

        But Project Butter. Yes, it fixed the lag that Samsung cant fix.

  • Kenny Woodard

    Gs4 sales are relaxing because people are waiting to see what Apple comes out with in ios7 and the Iphone 5s. After those come to light, more people will make their decision to buy one of those or my personal favorite (right now) the HTC One.

  • Gorgonphone

    you know what they say about samsung…… they ummm suuuuck.

  • Sebastian Paul

    Interesting fact:

    When the iPhone is released and Apple releases sales figures for the first weekend, people can’t just go to a store and pick up an iPhone, because they are sold out weeks in advance.

    When Samsung releases a new phone and announces preorder-numbers or a few weeks after release some incredibly high sales figures – you were always able to pick one up in a store or order one online with next day delivery.

    Apple is selling to customers, Samsung is filling “channels”.

    Like the 2 million GalaxyTab they sold/shipped in 2010, just to say later that only few of them were actually bought by people.

    If phones were McDonald’s hamburgers, you’d had to wait for your order to be finished at Apple, due to huge demand.
    At Samsung Hamburgers, they would prepapre the same number Appleburgers is making per hour in advance and then they would be selling burgers an hour old – and probably even trashing unsold burgers a few hours after they were prepared.

    Appleburgers = fresh
    Samsung Hamburgers = old

    How fortunately for Samsung that smartphones don’t get moldy.

  • Girish

    comparing 5m iphones sold in 3 DAYS to 10m s4 sold in *28* DAYS!! aHHH

  • StevenRandolph

    What’s going to be dead in the water is apples New 5s

    • Louie Kulla

      haha ..idiot alert.

  • Space Gorilla

    The problem with the Apple/Samsung sales comparison is that iPhone sales never actually decreased. iPhone sales have done nothing but increase, year after year. That fact seems to make some people very angry.

  • don108

    Interesting that the Samesung ad you link to conflates “shipped” with “sold.” In fact, Samsung never discloses actual sales to consumers, it reveals shipments to distributors. There is no way to know how many are sitting on shelves and and warehouses. The fact that their orders for more units tanked simply indicates that the distributors—the channel—is so stuffed with unsold inventory they won’t accept any more. If you think the situation is bad now, just wait until the returns from the channel start showing up.

  • Prasoon Singh

    Duh. Aluminum is always better than cheap plastic.

    • Kevin Butler

      That’s why people put cases on them right?

      • Louie Kulla

        cheap plastic phones for cheap ugly people. ..honest talk

      • Charlie Val

        *looks at iPhone 5C*

  • Prasoon Singh

    Gotta give props for Samsung for making good ads.

  • AppleAnalist

    If your crappy plastic phones are so good, why would you need to sit on iphone specific web sites posting bitter and spiteful comments day after day? I barely talk about Galaxy phones as I don’t own one and sure as hell have too much integrity to go and troll on and android site praising my iphone down people’s throats.

  • Royce Otero

    If apple allowed jailbreak it would be untouchable.

  • DumbassFanboys

    Ok. sorry if this is wrong, but didn’t the iPhone 5 sell like 5 million units in 2 months?

    • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

      No. 5 million units in 3 days.

  • Ronit L

    Was able to get a great deal on a Galaxy S4 where my discount increased when I got my friends to buy something along with me. Check out Mydeals247

  • rodge

    Got an s4. I think its a poor upgrade to my old s2. Laggy, clunky and a pain to use quickly. Camera functions are poorly labelled and is, yes, you guessed it, super laggy.The onboard storage is non existent due to the amount of useless crap samsung have installed on it. Most of the TV apps dont work (with the exception of bbc iplayer) and i cant view flash sites anymore (albeit a problem of Android 4.2.2 not supporting it), and the most annoying of all, i cant change the amount of time it rings out before answerphone kicks in (yes i tried the **61 codes, doesnt work on this phone for some reason). Ir booster is also poor, and doesnt properly control my virgin media cable box. Other issues:

    1. Air gesture and air view work when they feel like it and end up being much slower to use due to accidental page viewing.
    2. Natural holding position for phone will have you hitting power button by accident
    3. Volume control is laggy and sometimes goes up instead of down and vice versa.
    4. Camera has trouble focusing on super macro items. Some of the modes are also utterly useless (sports, drama, rich tone HDR all appear to do nothing)
    5. Voice activation cant understand my basic northern UK dialect (even after i installed the lengthy ‘accent’ patch) Even speaking the finest Queens English wont get me anywhere.

    So, in short, a horrible thing to use filled with useless bloatware and will serve to frustrate even the most calm of souls.