The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are expected to lead the U.S. market this quarter, according to new data from Kantar Worldpanel.
Samsung's latest flagship smartphones proved to be a great hit from the get go, drawing huge interest worldwide to the notable upgrades they sport over their predecessors. Even in the first quarter of this year, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge grabbed a 5.8 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, although they only hit the market on March 11.
Kantar further highlights that the Galaxy S7 ranked as the fifth best-selling smartphone during the first quarter, despite being available only for the past few weeks.
This marks an impressive improvement compared to the Galaxy S6's performance. According to Kantar, the Galaxy S6 was the 10th best-selling smartphone last year, seizing 3.2 percent of the market within the three months, which ended in April 2015.
The previous-generation Galaxy S6 had a number of drawbacks that limited its success, but Samsung addressed most of them with its new Galaxy S7 series. Battery and camera upgrades, along with expandable storage, were among the main drivers.
Kantar data shows that 53.5 percent of those who bought the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge in March cited battery life as the main incentive. Not only is the Galaxy S7's battery unit larger than the Galaxy S6's, but the smartphone also supports wireless charging, which can provide 50 percent of battery life in just 30 minutes. While wireless charging has been available for previous models, it required a separate accessory.
Further analyzing consumers' reasons for buying Samsung's latest flagships, Kantar found out that 50.9 percent of buyers cited camera quality, while 36.5 percent cited storage capacity and 39.8 percent cited processing speed.
In addition to these attractive specifications, aggressive marketing also played an important part in the Galaxy S7's success. Nearly 40 percent of Galaxy S7 and S7 edge buyers said they were lured by an exclusive offer or promotion, 12.2 percent were attracted by a discounted or a free product, 11 percent went for trade-in offers, and 10.3 percent were influenced by discounted or free accessories.
Lauren Guenveur, mobile analyst at Kantar, goes as far as to note that Samsung's latest flagship seems to be among the "most heavily promoted phones, ever."
As a reminder, one of the most enticing Galaxy S7 offers applied to preorders. Customers who ordered the Galaxy S7 or S7 edge by March 18 received a free Gear VR headset and six VR games. Verizon offered a free Gear S2 smartwatch with Galaxy S7 and S7 edge purchases, Best Buy bundled the Gear VR, $50 worth of VR content and a 64 GB memory card, and the list goes on.
With such a strong start and great hype, Guenveur says the Galaxy S7 will likely be the top-selling smartphone in the United States during this quarter.
"The Galaxy S6 was never able to capture the top spot, remaining the second best-selling phone behind the iPhone 6, and then the iPhone 6s," Kantar concludes.