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In iPhone vs. Galaxy battle, Apple still way on top

As negative as the sentiment has turned on Apple, it's important to remember that the iPhone has substantially outsold the Galaxy franchise over the last few years.

Roger Cheng Former Executive Editor / Head of News
Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
Expertise Mobile, 5G, Big Tech, Social Media Credentials
  • SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
Roger Cheng
2 min read

Despite the doom and gloom talk surrounding Apple, its iPhone franchise has still vastly outsold Samsung Electronics' own Galaxy lineup.

That's according to Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt, who compiled the cumulative sales of the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 and stacked them against the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones. In total, Apple outsold Samsung 219 million to 131 million.

"Although undoubtedly Samsung's Galaxy lineup has been tremendously successful, given the sudden negative sentiment related to iPhone, we thought it would be interesting to compare Galaxy sales vs. iPhone sales over the last two and a half years," he said in a research note issued today.

Samsung has surged over the past few years as the undisputed leader in handsets and smartphones. That's largely in part due to the success of its Galaxy S flagship lineup. The company, however, has also seen its market share rise thanks to a wide ranging portfolio of phones and tablets, not all of which are as profitable or noteworthy.

Apple, meanwhile, has seen its stock slump on fears that demand for its latest iPhone 5 has dropped, prompting the company to cut display orders. There has been an increasing outcry that the iPhone has lost its cachet as people gravitate toward Samsung Android phones instead.

The cries over the lack of innovation began with the debut of the iPhone 4S, and echoed further with the introduction of the iPhone 5. While both solid phones, neither did much to up the ante in terms of features, with the iPhone 5's marquee additions being features that Android phones have long enjoyed.

Still, that didn't prevent the iPhone 5 from having its usual frenzied launch, and Apple has said it is the fastest-selling iPhone in history.

McCourt noted that Apple actually extended the iPhone lead over the Galaxy lineup over the course of last year.

The cumulative total also includes the slower ramp-up of Galaxy sales early on. While the iPhone 4 was a blockbuster from the get-go, Samsung had a much more modest start with the various Galaxy S models, with the first generation coming in the U.S. in four different versions under different names. It wasn't until the Galaxy S2 that it began to see more momentum.

Things are different now. Kevin Packingham, chief product officer for Samsung's U.S. mobile division, said Galaxy S3 sales actually spiked after the launch of the iPhone 5, and analysts have noted that it continues to be a top-selling phone at all of the carriers. Earlier this week, Samsung said it sold 100 million Galaxy S phones.