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08:42 AM

Samsung Galaxy S III: 10 Million Sold

Samsung reached its 10 million unit sales goal for the Galaxy S III smartphone more than a week early, an executive says.

Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
Samsung's Android Super Smartphone: Galaxy SIII
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Samsung predicted that it would sell 10 million Galaxy S III smartphones by the end of July, and it appears that it has already met this goal. Speaking to the Yonhap News Agency, Samsung's mobile chief J.K. Shin said, "It appears that (accumulated sales) has exceeded 10 million units."

What's not clear is if Shin meant sales to end users or shipments to retailers.

The Galaxy S III went on sale across Europe in late May. It reached some U.S. carriers in late June and others in early July. None of the individual carriers has offered any information about sales of the device. In the United States, some wireless network operators are prone to making grandiose announcements when devices have a particularly strong opening weekend. So far, there have been no such announcements.

Though the distinction between devices shipped versus devices sold is an important one, even if Samsung has only shipped 10 million devices, it won't be long before they are sold. In 2010, Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy S smartphones, and in 2011, it sold 30 million Galaxy S II smartphones. Surely the Galaxy S III will surpass both phones by a significant margin.

The Galaxy S III is one of the strongest devices to reach the market this year. Not only does it boast one of the most impressive spec sheets, its performance is unrivaled when compared to other Android smartphones in the market.

In the U.S., the device is available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless. The GS3 comes in white, blue, and red (AT&T exclusive), and costs $199 for the 16-GB version and $249 for the 32-GB version.

[ See Apple, Samsung Patent Fight Draws Blood. ]

The GS3's main competition, the Apple iPhone 4S, is nearly 10 months old. It is also sold for $199 for the 16-GB model, but the 32-GB iPhone 4S costs $299, giving Samsung a bit of a price advantage for the higher capacity version.

Beyond the pricing, the GS3's 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display is significantly larger than the iPhone 4S's 3.5-inch display. Apple is expected to increase the size of the iPhone's display with the next-generation model, but reports point to a modest increase, to just 4 inches across the diagonal.

However, the GS3 will have about a four-month lead on the iPhone 5 by the time it reaches the market. Apple is due to report its second-quarter earnings this week, and expectations for the iPhone are dampened as analysts see slackening demand ahead of the iPhone 5's arrival.

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