Samsung’s highly anticipated flexible display-touting smartphone, the Galaxy Round, launched 40 days ago, and since then it seems to have been largely forgotten. Korean news outlet Daum is reporting that sales of the device are rather low, with an estimated 10,000 units sold in the last 5 weeks. Given the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 sold over 500,000 units in this same time frame in South Korea alone, it seems that the Galaxy Round won’t be claiming any sales records any time soon. Even Samsung’s closest competitor to this size of a phone, the Pantech Vega Secret Note has sold 200,000 units in the same time frame in South Korea alone.
Given that this is Samsung’s first device with a flexible display, it’s interesting to see the device sell such a low quantity, but there are a number of reasons for this problem. First up is the device itself, which hasn’t been marketed all that well. Samsung seems to be having issues figuring out exactly how to sell the Galaxy Round to consumers in a way that makes them want to choose it over any other phone out there. While the first commercial is cute and comical in many ways, the idea of the phone being more ergonomic seems to not resonate very well with people for whatever reason. Perhaps it’s just that the Galaxy Round is bent the wrong way?
Then of course there’s the fact that the Galaxy Round has only been released in South Korea, which is a good sized market for premium devices, but it certainly doesn’t help to limit the size of your audience. In the Daum report they talk about how many stores don’t have display units for the Round, and even ones that do don’t seem to be getting a lot of positive attention. How can you blame people though, when we’ve seen Samsung’s flexible displays being shown off since early 2012, and delayed several times since then because of production issues. Then there’s also the fact that the Galaxy Round doesn’t even use the YOUM display technology, which is completely bendable and unbreakable.
This brings about another point of disappointment, especially when you consider that LG’s G Flex is able to flex at least a few degrees without issue. Of course this is only a prototype production run, so maybe a device with more interesting capabilities will make it outside Samsung’s home country and sell better next time. We all know how Samsung loves to pump out different units and see what actually sells, so expect many variations of the Galaxy Round until something sticks.