Samsung Galaxy S5 said not selling as well as S4

Samsung reportedly sells 40 percent fewer Galaxy S5 phones than expected during its first three months on sale, prompting a change in mobile strategy and possible management shake-up.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

The Samsung Galaxy S5 hasn't proven as popular as the Galaxy S4. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung's Galaxy S5 might be one of the most advanced smartphones the company has launched, but it's reportedly not selling as well as the company hoped.

In the first three months since its April release, Samsung sold 40 percent fewer of the big-screen Galaxy S5 smartphones -- designed to take on Apple's iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- than expected, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. In total, Samsung sold 12 million Galaxy S5 units during the three-month period, compared to 16 million Galaxy S4 units during the same period, the report claims, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Samsung's plans.

For its part, Samsung has not disclosed actual Galaxy S5 sales, but the company reported a 74 percent year-over-year drop in profit in its mobile business during its last fiscal quarter. It also warned that conditions would remain tough in smartphones as competition heats up toward the end of the year.

The Journal suggests the company could be shaking up its corporate structure. Samsung is contemplating removing J.K. Shin, the company's current mobile chief, from his post and replacing him with B.K. Yoon, who currently serves as chief executive of the company's home appliances and television operations, the Journal reported. It's not clear when a decision might be made on the matter.

Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday on the Journal's story.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 to much fanfare in April. The device was viewed as an evolutionary upgrade to the Galaxy S4, featuring a textured backplate and improved resistance to dust and water. CNET senior editor Jessica Dolcourt gave the handset a score of four-and-a-half stars out of five , saying that while it was "subtly improved and smartly refined," the Galaxy S5 was overall "a superior smartphone that hits every mark but the sharpest design."

However, the company's mobile troubles have been well-documented over the last several months as it has been forced to acknowledge that increased competition internationally -- especially in China -- and growing concern over its margins have caused it to rethink its mobile strategy. Samsung is planning to reduce the number of devices it sells and maintain more of its focus on those that are particularly popular.

Despite the Galaxy S5's troubles, it actually sold better than the S4 in the US, according to the Journal. In China, arguably one of the most important mobile markets worldwide with the growing consumer market, sales were down 50 percent compared to the Galaxy S4.