After making a number of calls over the last few days to carrier stores following the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S III, we feel comfortable in saying that the Galaxy S3 launch appears to be going relatively well. From our discussions with store sales reps, demand for the Galaxy S III appears to be strong at all U.S. carriers. In particular, Galaxy S III is benefiting from its LTE and size advantage over the iPhone 4S, although we note Apple will likely address both these issues with the iPhone 5 quite soon. On average, it appears each store received roughly 10-20 phones in its initial shipment and most stores sold out within 2-4 days. Stores are receiving supply replenishments every few days but in smaller batches than launch day. This is a similar pattern that we have seen for most flagship Android devices historically. Supply and demand remain out of balance currently as most follow- on shipments are sold almost immediately. At both AT&T and Verizon, the nation’s two largest carriers, the Samsung Galaxy III seems to be the top selling phone based on consensus replies from store staff at this early stage of launch. In most cases the iPhone remains the second best-selling phone in stores, but we suspect demand has begun to taper off ahead of the iPhone 5 launch.McCourt thinks the success of the Galaxy S III is a near-term threat more to Research in Motion (RIMM) and HTC (2498TW), Google’s Motorola business, and to Nokia (NOK) than it is to Apple, though “that of course is said with the belief that Apple will live up to market expectations for the iPhone 5 this fall.”
Samsung shares today fell 1.2% to ₩1,154,000 in Seoul trading. Apple shares are down 74 cents at $606.20, a standout decliner in an otherwise up market today.