Samsung will ship 40 to 44 million smartphones this Q. May top 50 million after Galaxy S3 launch in Q2

Samsung will ship 40 to 44 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2012. And they may exceed 50 million in Q2, according to Korean ET News, quoting securities industry sources tracking the company.

The record-breaking shipments will come mostly due to the continuing success of Samsung Galaxy S line, and a surprising/new category defining hit – Galaxy Note. It is estimated that Samsung was able to sell 4 million 5.3” Notes during the first three months of the year. With lower end Android Galaxy smartphones continuing to do great as well.

With the launch of  highly anticipated Galaxy S3 flagship sometime during the next quarter, Samsung’s smartphone sales could top 50 million.

Now, before you go and crown Samsung as smartphone industry leader once again, bear in mind, that all the numbers above – are just guesstimates. As are most of the things we think we know about Samsung’s smartphone sales over last year. Once in a while,  Sammy throws us a bone in the form of some milestone achieved – 2 million Galaxy Notes sold, 10 or 20 million Galaxy S2s shipped, etc;. But it stopped reporting mobile handset shipments almost year ago. And since then, estimates of how many smartphones Samsung actually sells each quarter, vary by millions of units from one analyst to the next.

What’s more – 44 million or even 40 million smartphones sold in Q1, is a very optimistic estimate even for Samsung. Everywhere except China, Q1 is the slowest quarter for consumer electronics. Coming off a usually huge Christmas/Holiday Shopping Season. Which was made even bigger last year, due to some calendar quirks which added one more week to count sales in Q4 2011. A lot of upside sales surprises three months ago came due to that one extra week of sales. A week, which also made the Q1 2012 several days shorter than usual. And many companies, including Apple, Samsung and Nokia – warned us not to expect the repeat of Christmas performance in the next report.

Just keeping up with the numbers at the end of last year – will already be an achievement. Showing even the smallest sequential sales increase – a big surprise. And a 10-20% QoQ growth necessary for Samsung to reach the 40-44 million in smartphone sales – that’s on the very edge of possible.

But we did have a Chinese New Year gift giving season in February, and Android is doing extremely well there. There is also that Galaxy Note flying off the shelves around the world. So who knows.

I said that 40-44 million Samsung smartphones sold during January-March is only on the very edge of possible, but not beyond it. Maybe Samsung is indeed now puling away from all its smartphone competitors, and entering a new stage of growth. The Android activation jump from 700K a day in December to 850K a day in February – had to come from somewhere.

Lets see what happens when the real numbers come in about a month.

Update: Damn.  As you can see – I was pretty skeptical about those 44 million Samsung smartphones in Q1. But that same ET News source article had another number. 4 million  Galaxy Notes shipped in 2012. Which, after 1 million in December, and 2 million at the end of February – was equally hard to believe. But less than a day later – Samsung now confirmed officially that it has shipped 5 million Galaxy Notes. Which means that they have indeed shipped 4 million Notes this quarter, and 2 million of them in March.

I am now much less skeptical, and more ready to believe that those 40-44 million Samsung smartphones shipped projections are the real deal.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • eminemence

    Does shipped really mean sold?

  • Jmurder209

    Add 1 more Galaxy Note to the total cause I’m buying one at the beginning of April unless the Galaxy S III comes out with a 5.3″HD screen which I’m hoping it does? Because I know the GS3 will have much better specs. But if it does come out with a 4.3/4.5″HD screen then even with a possible 2GHz Quad-Core Exynos processor & 2GB of RAM? I still will most likely get the Galaxy Note because of that beautiful huge HD screen? Which is why I bought the Galaxy S Infuse 4G last year over the much more powerful Motorola Atrix 4G.

  • Jmurder209

    Well they ship more because the stores are requesting more, so that pretty much means there selling out their inventory?

  • Killigmodprince

    In gettin both

  • Mark Lunney

    Can’t see it being 5.3″, they’ll want the S3 to appeal to the majority of smartphone buyers and most wouldn’t go above 4.5″. Unlike the Note I’d expect it’ll have a non-pentile display though (like the SII), which could make it a much better display despite being a bit smaller. The other specs are likely to improve on the Note, all you’re missing out on is the stylus (which might even come to the S3 as an add-on).

  • Staska

    No. But the numbers of devices shipped is the standard metric through the whole consumer electronics industry

  • Motorola Atrix forum

    Apearently people don’t mind ginormous 5.3in smartphones.