Galaxy S9 and S9+
Samsung is hoping to sell 43 million units of its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ handsets. Reuters/Sergio Perez

Samsung Electronics is planning to ship around 43 million units of its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ flagship handsets this 2018. However, the tech giant has also admitted that it might revise its sales target depending on the current market’s demands.

The Investor learned Monday from South Korean media that Samsung is aiming to ship 43 million units of its latest flagship handsets this year. Such a figure is noticeably higher than the company’s 41 million sold units of last year’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.

“Samsung aims to ship 43 million units of the S9 and S9+ although it can revise the sales target depending on market conditions,” an unnamed industry source disclosed. “The yield rate of the new flagship phones were taken into consideration.”

Market watchers said the moderate on-year increase in shipment volume for 2018 simply reflects the sluggish growth of the global smartphone market at present. This is evident in Samsung’s flagship sales in the recent years. The company sold around 48 million units of its S7 lineup in 2016. Then, it only managed to sell 41 million units of the S8 lineup last year.

As previously reported, preorders for the S9 and S9+ did not meet expectations. In fact, preorders were only around 70 percent of their predecessors during the Feb. 26 to March 4 period. “There are many customers asking about the phones but the actual number of preorders seem to be a tad smaller compared to last year,” a South Korean mobile operator employee said.

Samsung isn’t the only one struggling to sell its new offerings though. Its crosstown rival, LG, also did not see impressive preorder figures for its upgraded LG V30S ThinQ phone. Local sources divulged that preorders for the handset fell shy of expectations in spite of LG’s efforts to equip the device with several artificial intelligence features.

Global market researcher Gartner has also reported that overall sales of smartphones last year were down compared to the sales in the previous year. Phone makers managed to sell around 407.8 million units in 2017, which was 5.6 percent down on-year. Samsung, Apple and Huawei were among the majorly affected companies. Gartner pointed out that the decline in sales is mainly due to the longer handset-replacement cycle of consumers.