Many in the smartphone industry thought that the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco would tarnish Samsung’s reputation and bring down its sales. The South Korean company has proved them wrong. After reporting record quarterly operating profits, a Samsung official has confirmed that the company sold one million Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus units in its home country.

Galaxy S8 Iris Scanner Hacked
Image Source: Samsung.com (screenshot)

One million Galaxy S8 units sold in Korea in 37 days

Citing a Samsung official, The Investor reports that it took Samsung just 37 days to sell one million units in South Korea. The new phones went on sale on April 21st. By comparison, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 had taken 75 and 74 days respectively to reach the one million units mark in Korea. It means the latest flagship is selling “almost two times faster” than its predecessors.

Interestingly, Samsung has been consistently sharing the Galaxy S8 sales data, probably to attract more buyers and to boast its solid performance. A Samsung official told The Investor on May 16 that the company had managed to sell five million Galaxy S8 units in less than a month of launch worldwide. Samsung later stated that the shipments had surpassed ten million units.

The electronics behemoth commands 60% market share in the Korean smartphone market. Samsung had received a record 550,000 pre-orders within just two days. When it rolled out the Bixby AI assistant in the Korean language on May 1, Bixby garnered 160,000 users on day one itself. Samsung was relying on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to make a comeback after the Note 7 disaster, and the phones have certainly lived up to expectations.

Will Galaxy S8 beat its predecessor in overall sales?

The S8 with its cool design and Infinity display has become the “best ever” smartphone launch in Samsung’s history. The company’s new eight-point battery safety program ensured that the S8 didn’t cause a Note 7-like trouble. The Galaxy S8 is being rolled out in more than 150 countries gradually. Now a big question is: Will the Galaxy S8 be able to beat the Galaxy S7, which sold 48.5 million units worldwide in 2016?

Analysts differ on the S8’s first year sales. Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. expects the Galaxy S8 sales to reach 51 million units by the end of this year. Eugene Investment & Securities analysts are even more optimistic, expecting its sales to hit 60 million units by the year end. But Samsung’s financial unit Samsung Securities forecasts only 45 million units in shipments. SK Securities analyst Kim Young-woo has also slashed his sales estimate to 45 million units.

Overseas sales are similar to that of Galaxy S7

Kim Young-woo told the Financial Times that there seem to be no issues with its quality. But the devices are not selling as well in other markets as in South Korea. The Galaxy S8’s overseas sales are similar to those of the Galaxy S7. The analyst says it’s because a large number of people looking to upgrade are waiting for the 10th anniversary iPhone 8.

According to Kim Young-woo, the Galaxy S8 will face major competition from the iPhone 8 during the second half of this year. Young-woo’s forecast is backed by BayStreet Research, which said last week that the worldwide sales of Galaxy S8 are similar to last year’s Galaxy S7 despite the new phone enjoying huge success in South Korea. In the US, Sprint witnessed a 30% jump in the sales of Galaxy S line handsets. Sprint has been offering lucrative deals on Samsung’s latest flagship. Sales at AT&T and Verizon were flat, while T-Mobile saw a decline in Galaxy S sales.

Yonhap News Agency reported over the weekend that Samsung would launch the Galaxy S8 in Japan next month. The Korean company has lost much of its market share in Japan due to the Note 7 debacle. Samsung had 14.8% share in the Japanese smartphone market in 2012, which has now declined to just 3.8%. Apple, Samsung’s arch-rival, has more than 50% market share in Japan.

Galaxy S8 security methods are not flawless

The Galaxy S8 has not suffered any major technical issues. There have been only minor problems such as a reddish tint on display, wireless charging issues, and an audio cut-off problem. However, the device’s security systems are not fool-proof. Experts have criticized the fingerprint sensor for its weird placement. Placing the fingerprint scanner next to the rear camera makes it difficult for people to use. Even when they do use it, they may accidentally place fingers on the camera lens while trying to authenticate.

Both the facial recognition and iris scanner on the Galaxy S8 have been hacked, proving that these methods are not your strongest defenses against hacking. The S8’s facial recognition technology was hacked even before the phone’s release. All you need is the phone owner’s photo to fool it. A few days ago, experts at the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) released a video demonstrating how they hacked the smartphone’s iris scanner technology. You need a photo of the phone owner’s iris and a contact lens to beat the system.