Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone quickly became the fastest-selling Android phone in history when Samsung announced that channel sales had reached 10 million units in under one month. That breakneck pace will surely slow down over time, but industry watchers see Samsung’s latest hero phone racking up some pretty huge numbers — according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue, Galaxy S4 sales will hit 80 million units this year.
“Galaxy S-4 demand in the first month of availability has been incrementally better than our estimate of 10M units,” Sue wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. “In comparison, the S-III took nearly 2 months (50 days) to achieve the 10M units mark. Our broad-based channel checks at U.S. stores indicate that demand for the 16G S-4 devices remains strong with 32G Black devices mostly sold-out and 32G White devices yet to make it to the stores.”
He continued, “At this pace, the GS-4 is likely to cross 20M shipments in 2Q13, potentially reaching 80M S-4 unit shipments in CY13. We expect the new version of Samsung’s Note (III) to hit retail shelves in September. We expect Apple to have an updated multi-device smartphone portolio [sic] with the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5 and iPhone mini this year.”
Sue also agrees with other firms and believes most smartphone growth in 2013 will be driven by mid- and low-end smartphones. He sees global smartphone shipments growing 26% to 870 million units in 2013, and then growing a further 20% in 2014 to just over 1 billion units.