Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Leads Global Android Phone Sales in 2016

The S7 Edge is the world's most popular Android phone today, with two other Samsung phones ranking two and three, based on new figures for the first half of 2016 from Strategy Analytics.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S7, smartphones, iPhones, Samsung Galaxy J2, Android phones

More Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones have been shipped globally in the first half of 2016 than any other Android smartphone, according to the latest shipment statistics from analyst firm Strategy Analytics. Samsung Android smartphones in fact hold the top three spots in the list of top-selling Android handsets around the world.

The results, which are included in an Aug. 1 announcement by Strategy Analytics, show that Samsung shipped about 13.3 million Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones worldwide in the first half of 2016, as well as 13 million Galaxy J2 phones and 11.8 million Galaxy S7 handsets.

"Global Android smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually from 552.2 million units in [the first half of] 2015 to 577.3 million in [the first half of] 2016," Linda Sui, an analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. "The Android smartphone category is outgrowing Apple iOS, whose global smartphone shipments fell 16 percent annually from 108.7 million in H1 2015 to 91.6 million in H1 2016."

The Galaxy S7 Edge shipments represented 2 percent of all the Android smartphones shipped globally in the period, added Neil Mawston, another analyst for Strategy Analytics, making it the world's most popular smartphone in the first half of the year. "The S7 Edge is wildly popular in dozens of countries globally, due to its attractive curved hardware design blended with a sidebar of apps that consumers find easy to use."

Another analyst with the company, Woody Oh, said in a statement that "Samsung cannot rest on its laurels" based on its shipments in the first half of the year "because it continues to be chased hard by emerging rivals, such as the Huawei P9, OPPO R9 and Vivo X7 devices."

Strategy Analytics said that all other Android smartphones shipped in the period totaled 539.2 million units.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy S7 smartphones (pictured) debuted in March. The Galaxy S7 features a 5.1-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440), while the Galaxy S7 Edge features a 5.5-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440). Both models include always-on displays for the time and other information. Both also are powered by Qualcomm quad-core 2.15GHz and 1.6GHz processors for U.S. users and include 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, 32GB of built-in storage and microSD expansion slots that support storage cards up to 200GB. The Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is equipped with a 3,600mAh battery.

Both models are also water-resistant and include fast charging and wireless charging capabilities, as well as 12-megapixel rear-facing cameras that have Dual Pixel technology for great images even in low light conditions. In addition, they include 5-megapixel front-facing cameras, a fingerprint sensor for security, the Samsung Knox defense-grade mobile security platform to protect user data and always-on displays.

Both handsets are built with metal chassis, and both run on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. In addition to 4GT LTE connectivity, the new S7 handsets also can be used with WiFi 802.11, MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 and near-field communications connections. Samsung Pay capabilities also are included in the devices.

Earlier in June, Samsung announced that its ruggedized version of its flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, the Galaxy S7 Active, launched exclusively through AT&T. The handset follows the ruggedized Galaxy S6 Active that launched in mid-2015, but gained a bevy of improvements from the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones, including a shatter-resistant and water-resistant 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD touch-screen display that meets IP68 certification to withstand water exposure of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes. Aimed at users who work and use their phones in hostile environmental and physical conditions, the S7 Active also meets MIL-STD- 810G specifications for dirt, dust, temperature, shock and salt resistance. The 5.1-inch display is the same size as the one found on the Galaxy S7 handset.

Gartner global smartphone sales figures for the first quarter of 2016 showed Samsung continues to lead the world, selling 81.2 million phones to grab a 23.2 percent market share. But Samsung's sales were essentially flat compared with the first quarter of 2015, when it sold 81.1 million smartphones and garnered 24.1 percent market share, according to Gartner.

Apple, in its latest third-quarter earnings report, on July 26 announced a 15 percent drop in global iPhone sales to 40.4 million units in the quarter, down from 47.5 million in the third quarter of 2015. Apple's third-quarter revenue and net income also fell for the second consecutive quarter as the iPhone maker reported $42.36 billion in revenue, down 15 percent from $49.6 billion a year earlier, and $7.8 billion in net income, a drop from $10.7 billion.

That contrasts with the company's previous string of 13 years of quarterly revenue reports without a decline, dating back to 2003. That streak came to a halt in the second quarter of this year, when the company reported revenue of $50.6 billion, 13 percent lower than the $58 billion the company posted a year prior.