Samsung’s Galaxy S20 line faced sales troubles even before the coronavirus crisis hit, with sales down compared to the Galaxy S10 launch, according to a plurality of carrier store reps surveyed by Wave7 Research. The main problem is price: the $1,500 Galaxy S20 Ultra and $1,200 Galaxy S20+ just seem too rich for many shoppers’ blood, with the $999 Galaxy S20 becoming the line’s most popular model.
Wave7 surveys wireless carrier dealers each month to see how sales are going. The $949 Galaxy Note 10 was the second-most-popular Samsung phone in the survey, “as some customers appear to be resistant to high Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra pricing,” the survey says.
The Galaxy S20 line featured a considerable price bump from the Galaxy S10 line, and hit shelves on March 6 just as the global coronavirus crisis began to crash the world economy. While the three Galaxy S10 models started at $749, $899, and $999, the new Galaxy S20 models cost $999, $1,199, and $1,499.
The mid-sized Galaxy S20+ is our choice of the three models, because of its support for all of the US’s 5G networks.
Sales aren’t down everywhere, as 20 percent of store reps said sales were up this year vis-à-vis the Galaxy S10 series, the report says. One dealer cited in the report said the Galaxy S20’s camera advancements—probably the highly touted “space zoom”—was driving interest.
And other countries may be seeing other trends. A report on SamMobile from late March says that while Galaxy S20 sales were down in Korea compared to the S10, the S20 Ultra was the best-selling unit on pre-order.
The unlocked Galaxy S20 is already on sale at Amazon for $200 off the list price, at $799.99, with the S20+ running $999.99, and the S20 Ultra running $1,378.98.
Sales Mostly Down, As You’d Expect
After the pandemic hit, Wave7 asked 48 dealers what happened to their daily new-line activations. As you’d expect, 37 said activations were down; 17 said they were down by 50 percent or more.
Of the seven dealers who said activations were actually up, the research firm pointed out that some of them had stores around them close, so they may have been the only remaining carrier dealers “for many miles.”
Research firm CCS Insight, cited in the Wave7 report, says global smartphone sales are likely to be down by 13 percent in 2020. That’s raised rumors that Apple may delay the launch of the 5G iPhone, which was expected in September.