Samsung sells out of new Galaxy S10 in the Gulf as the smartphone maker expects sales to surge

Pre-orders for the S10 were up nearly a third in the region compared to Samsung's previous model

Samsung aims to boost sales in the Arabian Gulf with its already sold-out Galaxy S10 series, despite a global slowdown in the smartphone market. The company started taking pre-orders for the new S10 on February 21, but closed 10 days later because it ran out of stock.

Unlike last year, when the company launched only two variants of the S series, S9 and S9+, it launched four models of S10 this year, with much fanfare to mark the 10th anniversary of its Galaxy product line.

“We are sure [S10] will be a game-changer and help us to surpass previous years’ numbers,” said Tarek Sabbagh, head of IT and mobile division at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

“S10 is breaking all records, pre-orders are 32 per cent higher than its predecessor,” said Mr Sabbagh. “We had to stop within 10 days, whereas last year, it ran for nearly two weeks.”

Industry experts consider the S10 line-up as one of the best to come from the South Korean company.

“The Samsung Galaxy S10 is finally here to put Samsung back on top of Android phone manufacturers,” said Abbas Ali, managing editor of TechRadar Middle East.

The most significant change to the model is the screen, said Mr Ali. There are other additions as well such as the in-screen ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and a triple camera set-up on the rear of S10+ that makes the phone feel more new, he said.

The S10+ comes with five cameras – three on the rear and two on the front for different types of shots. This gives Samsung an edge over its main competitors such as Huawei and Apple. Although, last year, LG launched its V40 model with five cameras.

Comparing the S10 with previous generations, Mr Ali said it will “certainly” do better than the S9, which was more of an iterative upgrade.

“Mood around it is pretty positive with consumers,” he said.

With 18.7 per cent, Samsung retained the biggest share of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to German researcher Statista, followed by Apple and Huawei with 18.2 and 16.1 per cent, respectively.

Mr Sabbagh said the UAE is the best-performing market for Samsung in the region, but he expects more growth in Oman this year.

The company gained 42 per cent of smartphone consumers in the UAE and it is looking to Oman for more users as the sultanate demands higher-end phones, Mr Sabbagh said.

“We have already started getting inquiries for Galaxy Fold from the local customers.”

Galaxy Fold, a smartphone phone with a flexible screen (Dh7,250), will go on sale in the region in the second quarter of 2019. While the launch of the S10 5G – with fifth-generation network compatibility – will depend upon the availability of a 5G network, he said.

Global analysts are not very positive about the future of the smartphone industry, but Samsung is confident about its growth in the region.

Gartner research director Annette Zimmerman has predicted only 1.5 to 3 per cent growth for smartphones in the next five years.

“Overall, 2018 was not an easy year, there were many ups and downs. But for Samsung, there were positive results in the region,” said Mr Sabbagh.

Updated: March 6, 2019 10:07 PM


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