Samsung Galaxy S II Sales Hit 5M Ahead of U.S. Debut

Samsung said it has sold 5 million Galaxy S II devices in 85 days, a healthy pace for phones that have yet to hit the U.S. to challenge the forthcoming iPhone 5.

Samsung said it has sold 5 million Galaxy S II handsets in 85 days of availability in South Korea, Japan and some European countries, according to Yonhap News.

That speedy clip comes after Samsung sold 3 million of the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" devices in 55 days and 1 million in less than a month in Korea alone.

The white-hot sales bode well for Samsung, which just launched the Galaxy S II in China but has yet to release the much-ballyhooed phones through carriers such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. The big mystery is: when will the new devices launch stateside?

Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung's mobile business and digital imaging, said at a media briefing July 19 that the company would launch the Galaxy S II phones in the U.S. this August.

However, Samsung's U.S. contingent told eWEEK July 20: "Samsung Mobile politely declines to comment on the upcoming availability of the Galaxy S II in the U.S."

Meanwhile, Boy Genius Report snagged these images of AT&T's Galaxy S II slider smartphone.

Other Galaxy S II handsets have proven to be thinner and lighter than the Galaxy S predecessors that sold over 10 million units in the U.S. in 2010. The new handsets also use 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus (Super active-matrix organic LED Plus) screens and are powered by 1.2GHz processors.

The phones also include an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that captures video in 1080p, as well as a 2MP front-facing camera.

Samsung is believed to be targeting an August U.S. launch to get on retail shelves ahead of Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 5, which is expected to launch this September or October.

Samsung's urgency to get out the door in the U.S. may be appropriate. Experian's PriceGrabber said 35 percent of nearly 3,000 U.S. consumers surveyed online said they would buy the iPhone 5 upon its release.

Samsung may have sold between 18 million and 21 million smartphones worldwide from April through June, compared with 16.7 million for Nokia and 20.3 million iPhones, according to research firm Strategy Analytics via Bloomberg.