One of the recurring themes we’ve heard in discussions of Samsung’s plans for the Galaxy S 5 has been dissatisfaction over the reception the Galaxy S 4 saw. It’s not like Samsung isn’t moving mountains of hardware, but it’s clear that the company’s once runaway smartphone growth has stalled. As we wait to see if a Galaxy S 5 might be able to jump-start consumer interest in Samsung’s phones, we get a little more detail about the GS4’s failures, learning just how many GS4 owners were in a hurry to offload their phones.
Gazelle is a company that buys used smartphones from their owners, and as such has a lot of insight into the post-retail market. Comparing the number of Galaxy S III owners who traded-in their phones during the second half of 2012 with those who traded-in Galaxy S 4s during the same period in 2013, Gazelle saw a massive 138% increase – more than doubling.
Granted, some of that may be explained by higher initial GS4 sales, but we’re still looking at a correspondingly larger fraction of owners interested in getting rid of their new Samsung phones after just several months of ownership. Gazelle seems to think that this is part of a trend towards more phablet-sized devices, but we’re not so sure; after all, such options were available in the GS3’s day, if not quite with the same selection we have now.