The Samsung Galaxy S line is not an iPhone killer. Just ask Samsung's own marketing people.
Speaking to Reuters reporters this week at the unveiling of yet another Galaxy S model, Samsung USA's Chief Marketing Officer Paul Golden said that 3 million units were sold in the U.S. since the Galaxy S launched in July. Worldwide, the grand total stands at 7 million handsets, and the sales appear to be limited by how fast Samsung can make the darn things: "We're in a situation where we wish we had more supply," Golden said.
That's a far less impressive haul than the 14 million iPhones Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) shipped in the fourth quarter, which is a similarly sized chunk of the calendar. Samsung's sales feat also becomes slightly less impressive when you consider that the Galaxy S is available from every major wireless operator over here, while Apple's phone is tied to the AT&T (NYSE: T ) network exclusively.
For what it's worth, neither AT&T, Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S ) , nor Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) are showing their Galaxy S models on backorder at the moment. On the other hand, the chronically sold-out Droid Incredible and HTC EVO 4G are also reportedly available at the drop of a hat -- either the networks have stopped reporting their delays or the whole shortage mess has been worked out of the system by now.
Besides, the Galaxy S is but one of many high-end Android models on the market today. If that particular phone in its many carrier-customized guises doesn't float your boat, perhaps something from Motorola (NYSE: MOT ) or HTC will. And that's just the top-of-the-line range -- if we're counting Apple's iPhone sales at 14 million, which includes older and cheaper iPhone 3GS units in addition to the new iPhone 4, you'd have to consider cheap, free, or slightly outdated Androids as well. That's the way Android backer Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) likes it, anyhow.
That platform-to-platform comparison tends to raise the hackles or iPhone fans, who then respond that each Android model should be counted separately because they all look, feel, and act different. Either way, we can conclude that one Android may not rule them all (or in the darkness bind them) but Android phones in general are selling very well despite supply constraints imposed by the occasional use of OLED screens. And if there is one clear loser in the smartphone battles, it would have to be onetime leader but recent laggard Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) , whose BlackBerry phones don't seem so sweet anymore.