Galaxy S5

Operators look to avoid government-imposed sales bans around planned April 11 launch window

The Samsung Galaxy S5 went on sale in South Korea today, more than two weeks ahead of the planned global launch date of April 11, as local carriers released the phone early. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, government-imposed sales bans affecting new contracts and upgrades looked set to interfere with GS5 launch plans in the country, after Korean carriers were found to be subidizing phones by more than 270,000 won, violating local laws.

Now it seems the operators have decided to sidestep this problem by offering the much-anticipated phone for sale early, against the wishes of its manufacturer. AFP reports that the all three carriers, SKT, KT and LG Uplus, launched the phone today without Samsung's blessing. SKT, which will be unable to sell phones on April 11 due to the sales ban, told the news agency the early release "meet customer needs more quickly."

Samsung described the move by Korean carriers as an "independent" decision in a statement given to AFP, adding "we express our regret at this decision and we are working to verify all the facts."

The global Galaxy S5 launch remains on schedule for April 11 in other parts of the world.

Source: AFP


Reader comments

Korean carriers defy Samsung and release Galaxy S5 two weeks early


If this is what passes for a good SP episode premise these days, I'm really glad I let my viewing fall by the wayside.

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Anyone else hear how their northern trying to make one male hairstyle universal and mandatory in North Korea?

Posted from my TARDIS!

I never understood why Samsung would stock them up with phones and then tell them that they can't sell it for 3 weeks. WTF . That seems ridiculously stupid. If you gave them the phones let them sell them

It's so they can sell right after the phone is announced with no shortage. However in sure there was some back room talks as these actions definitely benefit both Samsung and the Korean providers.

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"government-imposed sales bans." It wasn't just Samsung phones. The companies were unable to sell ANY phones or contracts. I've actually been affected by this because my wife and I are currently living in South Korea, and my wife's phone was lost and one way to get a new phone is by canceling your current contract (and paying off the rest of the lost phone) and signing a new contract. Because of this ban, we were unable to do so, so I had to order a phone off of Amazon and have it shipped here.

Have you seen how daft that idiot looks? Living next door to that situation is not a minor issue for Samsung or South Koreans.

Oh Lawd. I forgot all about that phone. I am ashamed to say that I actually had one of those for a while. Fortunately I got rid of it fairly quickly for a Palm Pre... which is still to this day one of my favorite phones.

Its just a phone in the end.
I dont like that Samsung has taken the "Apple" line releasing same type of phone every year whitout any changes. If Samsung doesnt start making difrent type of phones it will loose it market share to other companies.

Every major phone released this year has looked just like it's predecessor. It would have to take more than that to lose market share.

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Clearly demand for the S5 in Korea is huge, but I am still surprised the carriers can do this against Samsung's wishes.

Why? They bought the phones from Samsung, they own them. There may be future repercussions, but there is nothing Samsung can do to stop them from selling what they own.

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If they all do it, It is hard for Samsung to retaliate. Korea is one of their biggest markets. What is Samsung going to do? Tell them they can't have the next phone on time and then hurt their own sales. With the bans starting it makes sense to move it up so they are all on an even playing field when it is released.