Samsung Seeks to Gain an “Edge” on the iPhone 6 Plus with the Galaxy Edge+ and the Note5

Vice President, Consumer Insights Products

On August 13 Samsung announced the release of its latest flagship devices the Edge+ and Note5.  The Edge+ is considered by many a large screen smartphone and the Note5 considered by many a “phablet,” even though both are roughly the same size. As covered by the media, the intention is to better compete with the iPhone 6 Plus, the current leader in “plus-sized” smartphones. 

 How did the Edge+ and Note5 do on opening weekend?

1010data’s Ecom Insights team measured online preorders and purchases of both devices with our consumer panel of millions of online shoppers in the U.S. from August 14 through noon on Sunday August 23, 2015.  We considered these 10 days the “launch” period: one week before release + three days after release.  The phones were released on August 21, 2015.

We estimate the U.S. totaled 5k units for the Edge+ and 10k units for the Note5. It may not sound like much, but it could be as much as $11M in revenue depending on how you calculate the value of each phone given that there are various payment plans. We assumed $750 and $800 respectively (the unactivated device MSRP) to get to the $11M.

Keep in mind that this is just online sales and doesn’t include in-store sales or people calling into carriers to upgrade. This analysis can give you a relative size of the release compared to prior iPhone and Galaxy releases.

For comparison, the Edge and Galaxy S6, launched in April 2015, sold roughly 5k units and 20k units online respectively during the comparable 10 day launch period.

And for fun, let’s look into the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launches from last year. The 6 and 6 Plus combined sold 750k units online in the U.S. in just 10 days, totally dwarfing each of the Galaxy Edge launches by over 50X, at least in terms of online sales. 

Remember, these measurements are just for retailer.com and online carrier sales in the United States. Apple announced after the launch that they sold 10M iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units during opening weekend. That includes sales in Apple and carrier stores and international sales that we did not include in this study.

It looks like the Galaxy Edge+ and Note5 are great products. But somehow Apple is able to stay ahead of the competition and gain more consumer excitement about their smartphones.

Additionally, buying an iPhone is much easier on the Apple.com site than through the Samsung carrier sites who may not be quite as masterly at the e-commerce user experience.

Interestingly, the now older S6 model sold more than the Edge+ during the August 2015 Edge+ launch period with nearly 15k in unit sales on the same sites. The S6, no longer the latest model, had steep price discounts and seems to have cannibalized the Edge+ launch sales.

The Note5 sold 2 times more than the Galaxy Edge+. Personally, I expected the Edge+ to sell better because of its sleek design. 

The top selling online retailer for Edge+ and Note5 during this 10 day period was, surprisingly, a roughly 4-way tie between BestBuy.com, VerizonWireless.com, Att.com, and Sprint.com, each with about 20% share of sales (BestBuy had a few more % share at 28%), followed by t-mobile.com with 11% share.

Methodology

1010data’s Ecom Insights panel consists of millions of online shoppers in the U.S. who allow 1010data to anonymously track their online behavior for market research purposes, including e-commerce activity.

1010data applies advanced, proprietary statistical modeling, machine learning, and data science techniques to ensure that its panel is representative of the Internet Browsing Population in the U.S. and suitable to extrapolate observations to the broader population.

Retailers measured include the top 100 online mass retailers in the United States that – according to 1010data’s estimates – make up over 95% of hard line goods ordered online the U.S.