Samsung's newly launched Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra are undoubtedly the best Android flagships launched so far in 2020. However, despite sporting cutting-edge camera hardware and the latest and greatest chipsets along with 120Hz AMOLED displays, the Galaxy S20 series has failed to recreate the magic that its predecessor the Galaxy S10 series did last year, at least when it comes to sales numbers.
Galaxy S20 sales have been less than stellar and the phones have had a very bad start in Samsung's home market of South Korea. According to a report from The Korea Herald, Samsung only managed to sell half as many Galaxy S20 units as it did the S10 on the first day of sale.
Galaxy S20 sales impacted from coronavirus
Samsung reportedly sold 70,800 units of the Galaxy S20 on the first day compared to 140,000 units of the Galaxy S10 and more than 220,000 in the case of the Galaxy Note 10 when it was launched in August 2019.
Samsung said the lower than expected sales are partly due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that is affecting the tech world in a lot many ways.
The deadly epidemic has been the reason for the cancellation of many huge tech conferences including the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the Game Developers Conference and more recently Facebook's F8 event.
The Korean Herald notes that there is a "drastic drop" in people frequenting physical stores amid fears of contagion from COVID-19, which could have contributed to the lower sales.
Coronavirus spread in South Korea
South Korea which is situated in close proximity to China, the epicentre of the deadly epidemic, is among the worst affected nations. The east Asian country reported more than 259 new cases of COVID-19 infection as of February 29 to take the tally to close to 3,500.
High prices and no discounts
Another reason for the slump in sales could be the astronomical prices of the new smartphones which have only kept skyrocketing with each new generation. This, coupled with the absence of discounts and operators' unwillingness to subsidize the Galaxy S20 series of smartphones, is also a major factor contributing to the decline.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 lineup starts at $999.99 for the standard Galaxy S20, $1,199.99 for the S20 Plus and $1,399.99 for the top-of-the-line Galaxy S20 Ultra, with the highest configured variant going all the way to $1,699.99.
The high prices have raised a lot of eyebrows, especially at a time when most consumers are opting for mid-range smartphones. A lot of early rumors also speculated that Samsung's sales could fall flat due to the phones being priced so high.
Apple's coronavirus fears
Samsung isn't the first smartphone maker to blame coronavirus for impacting its sales and financial performance. Last month, Apple too announced that it may not meet its expected revenue forecast for the March quarter as it feels that its iPhone supply would be temporarily constrained due to its manufacturing partner Foxconn lowering its production as a result of intermittent shutdowns at its Chinese factories.