South Korean Carriers Begin Sales of Galaxy S5 Early, Samsung Expresses “Regret”
March 27, 2014 9:12 AM
comment(s) - last by
Government-imposed sanctions result in carriers jumping the gun on Galaxy S5 sales
Although the general enthusiast community reaction to the
announcement of the Galaxy S5
was a solid “meh”, it appears that South Korean wireless carriers are extremely eager to get the device into the hands of paying customers. The
reports that several South Korean carriers — including SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG Unplus Corp. — are selling the Galaxy S5 to customers well ahead of its April 11 global launch.
The carriers decided to launch the smartphone early because the South Korean government imposed a 45-day suspension that will prevent them from accepting new customers. The suspension was handed down because carriers were providing illegally phone subsidies, and those actions are most definitely frowned upon by the South Korean government.
The suspension begins on April 5, so the carriers are scrambling to take advantage of any sales bump from the initial launch of the Galaxy S5 before they are legally prevented from doing so.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Not surprisingly, Samsung has made it clear that it is unhappy with this recent turn of events. In an emailed statement to
, Samsung stated that it was “Very puzzled” by the actions of the carriers, and that “SK Telecom strongly asked for an earlier release of the product but we delivered our stance that the global release date of April 11 remains unchanged.”
Obviously, SK Telecom and the other carriers decided to take matters into their own hands.
Samsung also reached out to
, and provided the following statement:
The official global launch date of the Galaxy S5 is April 11, as previously announced. Samsung has provided mobile carriers with a limited number of units for marketing and pre-sales activities, however the decision to release the device early in the Korean market was made by the mobile carrier itself, independently of Samsung. We express our regret at this decision and we are working to verify all the facts.
We’re not sure if Samsung will have much of a recourse to this betrayal from its home market wireless carriers. After all, Samsung would be shooting itself in the foot by retaliating against the same companies that are responsible for selling one of its most profitable products.
Associated Press via Yahoo News
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More Accurate Information
3/27/2014 11:19:41 AM
The reason the phone has been released early by SKT is that currently only KT and LGU+, the second and the third largest carrier, respectively, are serving the suspension while SKT's suspension will not start until April 5. SKT's suspension lasts from April 5 to May 19 while KT's suspension terminates on April 26 (LGU+'s suspension also terminates earlier than SKT's), giving KT/LGU+ much a head start in selling Galaxy S5 should SKT adhered to Samsung's launch plan date of April 11. Sticking with Samsung's launch date, SKT would not be able to sell any Galaxy S5 until May 19, more than a month after the launch date.
RE: More Accurate Information
3/27/2014 11:28:37 AM
I've read the referenced articles (AP, Verge) both of which include erroneous information. KT and LGU+ cannot sell any Galaxy S5 as they are currently serving the suspension. Only SKT can do this until April 5th. Then LGU+'s suspension temporarily ends on April 4th, and the second phase starts on April 27th. So technically, LGU's can also sell it early starting on April 5th (but not now as the article insinuates).
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