Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that today marks the day when Samsung’s Galaxy S5 makes it presence felt at smartphone retailers around the globe. The brand new flagship becomes available today at stores in 150-some countries, giving smartphone fans everywhere a chance to get their hands on this hardware. Given Samsung’s might, the prominence of the Galaxy S brand, and the fact that the GS5 didn’t make any major missteps, and we’re expecting the handset’s retail reception to go over quite swimmingly. It will be some time before we have some hard sales number to start looking at (and no doubt hold up for comparison against the HTC One M8), but for an early sense of shoppers’ affinity for the smartphone we look no further than the substantial lines forming outside retailers carrying the model.
That shot you see up top comes to us from Android Central in the UK, showing us the scene outside a London Samsung Experience store yesterday evening. Mind you, these aren’t even people waiting for their first crack at the phone today, but Samsung enthusiasts who placed their pre-orders well in advance and were invited to swing by and pick up their phones a few hours before retail sales opened for the masses. Reportedly, the situation was largely the same at other Samsung retail locations.
But do those crowds of pre-order customers translate into similar enthusiasm from shoppers only making their decision about the phone today? Well, we’re not so sure. CNET, at least, went around New York City this morning and didn’t see much of a crowd at any retailers. Some of that might be directly due to strong pre-orders, though, with carriers describing the success of GS5 pre-orders as “a pressure valve release” taking the edge off today’s retail launch.
Expect more detailed reports on the start of GS5 sales in the weeks to come, as new and better data becomes available.