By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 17, 2013

FORTUNE — It’s been years since Samsung reported any unit sales numbers at all for its mobile phones, so the tech press took notice Thursday when the South Korean manufacturing giant decided it had something to brag about.

Samsung Electronics co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun told reporters at an industry forum in Seoul that he is confident shipments of the Galaxy S4 will top 10 million next week — four weeks after the device went on sale in 60 countries, including Korea, China, India and the U.S.

“That would make the mobile device the fastest-selling selling smartphone in Samsung’s history,” the
Korea Times
 reported — a line echoed in the U.S. press.

That kind of coverage must drive Tim Cook crazy.

Because when Apple (AAPL) reported last September that it sold 5 million iPhone 5 units in three days, analysts expressed “disappointment” and Business Insider ran this headline:

IPHONE 5 OPENING WEEKEND SALES COME IN WORSE THAN EXPECTED

And what was its headline Friday?

Samsung’s S4 Starts Strong: 10 Million Units In Less Than A Month

NOTE: On closer read, I see that Samsung is talking about sales to carriers, not end users. Not quite the same thing. I’ve reworded the text of the story to read “shipments,” not “sales,” of the S4.

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