Samsung Says S23 Sales Ahead of S22; Most people buy S23 Ultra

Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S23 flagship smartphone have surpassed last year’s S22 in a comparable period, according to Samsung executive Patrick Chomet. orders. The first sales of the S23 will be welcome news for Samsung, which has had a tough year in the smartphone market.

Samsung said that 60% of the pre-orders for the Galaxy S23 smartphone series were for the S23 Ultra, the most expensive device in the series. Samsung is targeting double-digit growth for its higher-end premium smartphones in 2023.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain – Sales of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 smartphone have topped last year’s S22 in a comparable period, with a majority of buyers opting for the most expensive version of the device, an executive at the South Korean tech giant told CNBC.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S23 this month. There are three models in the series: the standard S23, a slightly more expensive S23+, and the top-of-the-line S23 Ultra. The S23 Ultra starts at $1,200.

Patrick Chomet, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics, told CNBC in an interview that the S23 sales are much better than the S22 so far compared to last year. The S23 went on sale on February 17.

Chomet added that Samsung is committed to “double-digit growth” in the premium segment of its smartphones for 2023, which includes the Galaxy S23 series but also its latest foldable phones launched last year.

“So we are in the premium segment, despite the difficult economic environment, we see a steady opportunity for us. And that’s because we’re very competitive because we’ve brought a lot of innovation to this segment,” Chomet said in an interview at Monday’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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Chomet revealed that the most expensive version of its flagship phones – the S23 Ultra – accounted for about 60% of global S23 pre-orders.

“We expect a healthy portion of the mix to be biased toward premium,” Chomet said.

The first sales of the S23 will be welcome news for Samsung, which had a tough year in the smartphone market in 2022. Overall, smartphone shipments last year saw their worst year since 2013, according to research firm IDC. According to IDC, Samsung’s shipments fell by more than 15%. The slump was due to inflation and the deteriorating outlook for the economy.

Operating profit at the company’s mobile and network businesses fell 16% year over year in 2022.

But there is still a demand for expensive smartphones. High-end smartphones costing over $800 accounted for 18% of the total cellphone market in 2022, up from 11% in 2020, Canalys data shows.

Here, Samsung is hoping to expand its smartphone business, which would potentially offer the company higher margins and better profits.

Chomet said the higher pre-order percentage for the S23 Ultra is an “indication that at the premium end of the smartphone market, there are still a lot of people who “want the best of the best,” although people are more cautious.”