The announcement came on May 22, ironically one day before the biggest of the Big Four U.S. wireless carriers, Verizon Wireless, began selling the phones in retail stores. Some customers who pre-ordered the device received it on Wednesday (including us).
According to the Korean giant, this is the fastest ever sales rate for any of its smartphones, including the Galaxy S III, its last flagship phone -- which was also a huge hit.
The Galaxy S4 has sold much more quickly than its predecessor Galaxy S devices. The Galaxy S III held Samsung's prior record, and reached 10 million in channel sales 50 days after its 2012 launch. The Galaxy S II took five months to reach that number, and and the Galaxy S took seven months to reach 10 million in channel sales.
To be clear, channel sales are devices that are "sold" to the pipeline -- wireless operators -- and not directly to consumers. In other words, the numbers are for units shipped. Apple remains alone among device manufacturers in reporting units sold to consumers, not shipped into the channel.
Shipped or sold, technically the iPhone is still the fastest-selling single smartphone. When the iPhone 5 launched, Apple ticked off more than two million pre-orders in the first 24 hours it was available. Note: pre-orders.
However, globally, Samsung is the top cell phone -- not just smartphone -- manufacturer. In addition, in terms of platforms, Android holds a 75 percent market share vs. iOS' 17.3 percent.