South Korean sales of Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus are at "record lows," The Korea Herald's Investor reports, citing unspecified wireless industry data. Since being released in mid-March, the newest Android flagship lineup from the world's largest smartphone manufacturer sold 707,000 units through the country's three largest wireless carriers – KT, SK Telecom, and LG Uplus. As is the case in the United States, mobile service providers account for the vast majority of new handset sales in the Far Eastern market. The figure itself marks the weakest launch ever experienced by a Galaxy S product family, as per the same report.
Last year's Galaxy S8 series saw nearly a million sales in South Korea over its first two months of commercial availability (including pre-orders), whereas the new line is now said to be losing momentum, with its sales dropping from 476,000 units in March to 231,000 models this month, i.e. being slashed by more than half. Some industry watchers are seeing the development as a sign of times and a strong indicator that the premium segment of the smartphone market is likely to continue losing steam going forward due to saturation, a lack of major upgrades, and high product prices. Sales of Apple's iPhone X are also said to have hit all-time lows in the country this spring.
According to recent studies, consumers around the world are now more willing to purchase higher-end mobile devices but are also holding on to them for longer, with the global demand for handsets consequently dropping. In terms of shipments, the Galaxy S9 series doesn't appear to have performed any worse than the 2017 lineup which preceded it, with some eight million units being shipped over the last two months, Canalys estimates, though it's still unclear how many of those devices are now just sitting as unsold inventory. Previous reports suggested Samsung may be willing to debut the Galaxy Note 9 flagship prior to its traditional late August launch window if global Galaxy S9 sales don't pick up but the company gave no formal indication it's unsatisfied with the commercial performance of its newest Android-powered mobile offerings.