Early Galaxy S5 sales healthy; Synaptics, InvenSense outperform

U.S. first-day Galaxy S5 sales were up 30% relative to first-day S4 sales a year ago, Samsung (SSNLF) declares. The electronics giant also states sales in certain other markets doubled Y/Y.

Pac Crest's checks also paint a favorable picture of U.S. S5 sales: The firm estimates average inventory sell-through hit 60% within four hours, and thinks sales were especially strong at Verizon thanks to a 2-for-1 promotion.

Needham thinks S5 sales could reach 10M sales in 25 days vs. 27 for the S4. The firm is reiterating a Buy on touch controller/fingerprint sensor supplier Synaptics (SYNA +3.7%).

Two caveats: 1) Samsung's numbers typically measure sell-in to carriers/distributors rather than consumer sell-through. 2) S4 sales also got off to a hot start, but later slowed down.

Compared with the S4, Samsung has taken a no-frills approach with the S5, emphasizing practical features such as waterproofing/dust-resistance over sensor-based features (Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, etc.) often derided as gimmicks. The company has also provided modest discounts relative to the S4 (the S5 still typically goes for $600+ unsubsidized), as it contends with aggressive high-end pricing from Chinese Android rivals.

Synaptics is outperforming, as is motion sensor supplier InvenSense (INVN +1.7%), which gets over 30% of its revenue from Samsung. S5 OLED materials supplier Universal Display (OLED +0.6%) is up slightly. Synaptics reports on April 24, and InvenSense on May 1.

Comments (5)
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1625) | Send Message
    This is good news for SYNA and INVN and other suppliers, but the real money will probably be made in the mid-range.
    14 Apr 2014, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Esekla
    , contributor
    Comments (4791) | Send Message
    Yes, but INVN has been hot enough to double since I started covering it a year ago. There is still eventual upside, but it pays to pick your entry points, as my first article on it illustrates very well.


    It's far better news for UDC, who makes the materials for the screens, which DisplayMate said tested as the best screen of any type, ever. Universal Display doesn't have the same sort of following here; so by contrast, I haven't written up my research in over a year. OLED is easily the best opportunity of any of the stocks mentioned here, though.
    14 Apr 2014, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • ksceph
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Esekla, in your view, how much can we attribute the S5's display's excellent performance to Universal Display's technology? How much of it has to do Samsung's own technology and know-how and how dependent are they on Universal Display after their 6 year deal runs out? I am also trying to understand why only Samsung and LG seem to be the main players doing business with Universal Display (for OLED display). Who are the other players who might start doing business with the company in the next couple of years? (Apple will probably stick to Retina display, Sony has its own OLED capabilities, HTC seem to produce decent displays without OLED. Is the Nokia Lumia 930's OLED display from Universal Display? ) Finally, what do you think are the longer-term prospects of Universal Display?
    16 Apr 2014, 01:52 AM Reply Like
  • Esekla
    , contributor
    Comments (4791) | Send Message
    Excellent questions! Please ask them in one of my OLED articles and I'll respond there in order to keep all my OLED updates together.
    16 Apr 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • m.vanrossem
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    You are so marvellous
    15 Apr 2014, 08:13 AM Reply Like
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