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.