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Early Galaxy S9 release paid dividends for Samsung this past quarter

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Last updated: April 26th, 2018 at 14:47 UTC+02:00

It was first rumored late last year that the Galaxy S9 might be launched earlier than its predecessor and that's precisely what happened a couple of months ago. Since it was launched early, Samsung also released the Galaxy S9 almost a month before the Galaxy S8 came out in 2017 and it doubled down on that by ensuring that the handset was released in many of its markets across the globe on March 16. That strategy has paid dividends for Samsung in the first quarter of 2018.

Samsung reported its official earnings results for Q1 2018 today and acknowledged that the increased sales of its flagship devices particularly the Galaxy S9 helped drive its record first-quarter revenue.

Early Galaxy S9 release

Samsung's mobile division posted 28.45 trillion won or $26.3 billion in revenue this past quarter compared to 23.5 trillion won or $21.8 billion in the same period last year. It posted an operating profit of 3.77 trillion won or $3.5 billion compared to 2.07 trillion won or $1.9 billion in Q1 2017.

The company mentioned in its earnings release that the overall market demand for smartphones tablets declined during the quarter due to weak seasonality however, Samsung saw its smartphone shipments increase quarter-over-quarter due to the early release of the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+. Continuing solid sales of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ helped as well.

So while it was able to reap the benefits in the first quarter of this year, Samsung will now have to put in an extra effort to at least sustain the momentum in the second quarter. That's because those who really wanted to buy the Galaxy S9 have already bought one so the company now has to find new customers. Samsung now expects earnings for the mobile division to decrease in the second quarter due to the slowdown in sales of its flagship models.

It will also have to increase its marketing spend to address the decline. Samsung says that it will try to maintain the sales momentum for the new flagships by setting up more experiential stores, improving its cooperation with retail and carrier partners as well as offering more promotional programs such as trade-ins to entice new customers to switch to the Galaxy S9.

Samsung will release another contender in the high-end segment of the market later this year which should provide a lift to the mobile division in the second half of 2018. That device will obviously be the Galaxy Note 9 which, if recent rumors are to be believed, may be launched ahead of schedule as well.

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