Shipments of Samsung Mobile's Galaxy S Android smartphone reached 1 million in the U.S. 45 days after it first became available, the company announced on Monday.
While Apple sold some 1.7 million iPhone 4 smartphones during its first weekend, some analysts see the Galaxy S initial shipment totals as the beginnings of Android supremacy.
"No question there is an anti-Apple, pro-Android movement afoot," said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "It's not just about price. It's also about having an open alternative with much less dictatorial control of what the user can do with the device."
Gold said he expects that sales of Android devices from all manufacturers will surpass Apple iPhone sales by 2011. Gartner analysts have said the same thing.
A Samsung spokeswoman today said that today's announcement referred to "shipments for Galaxy S, not sales." Presumably that means shipments to all retail outlets (including Amazon.com) and the four major U.S. carriers that will sell the Galaxy S,
Most bloggers ignored the distinction Samsung noted between shipments and sales because shipments to a carrier or retailer usually result in quick final sales to end users for hot phones.
The Galaxy X models from each of the carriers include a 4-inch AMOLED display and 1 GHz Hummingbird processor that are clear draws for customers.
Two of them, AT&T and T-Mobile, are already selling the devices, which they call Captivate and Vibrant respectively. Sprint will start selling a Galaxy S it calls Epic tomorrow while Verizon's Fascinate model is rumoured to become available on Sept. 9.
Samsung's Web site shows the four models side by side, with the Epic 4G the most notably different, with a slide-out physical keyboard in landscape mode and a front-facing camera. The Epic 4G might have gone on sale earlier, but Sprint decided to stockpile units to meet demand amid a global shortage of display screens.
All four Galaxy S phone models will initially run Android 2.1, and then move to Version 2.2, or Froyo, later this year.
Gold said sales of Android devices like the Galaxy S sales have been bolstered by a growing number of available apps. He noted that developers are finding it easier to get applications approved by Android Market than by the Apple App Store.
Another factor for its success, Gold said, is that hackers and other developers see the Android platform as one that can be used for experimentation, although Google and manufacturers are trying to stop that practice.
Various bloggers have attributed other reasons for Android's success, including pricing.
Fortune's Seth Weintraub noted that users who purchase a two-year agreement with AT&T can get a Captivate device for a penny .
Amazon advertises many phones and devices for nearly free or half the cost of what carriers advertise as their cost, a practice Apple has resisted, analyst noted. The purpose of the low-cost up-front pricing is obviously to lure buyers into two-year contracts.
What may intrigue some buyers of Android more than anything is that the Captivate is sold by AT&T, which is also the exclusive carrier behind the iPhone.
Samsung attributed its Galaxy S success to sales by multiple carriers, as well as a broad promotional campaign with print, online, cinema and TV ads, as well as promotions on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.