Samsung 'puzzled' as South Korean carriers upstage Galaxy S5 launch with early sales

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
Apple's chief rival Samsung had big plans for the debut of its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone on April 11, but carriers in its native country of South Korea have opted to upstage that launch date by releasing the new handset early.

Samsung


SK Telecom, the largest mobile provider in South Korea, is set to release the Galaxy S5 on Thursday, two weeks before the actual scheduled launch. The move has prompted other carriers in the country -- KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. -- to also release the device early.

In response, Samsung issued a statement, according to the Associated Press, saying that the company is "very puzzled" by the decision. Carriers were provided with handsets ahead of time to ensure they could fulfill preorders.

The move may be driven in part by a looming suspension set to hit SK Telecom on April 5. The carrier is reportedly barred from accepting new customers for a 45-day period because they provided illegal phone subsidies. Selling the Galaxy S5 early would allow them to lock in new customers ahead of that suspension, which will be in effect when Samsung's handset officially launches.

Samsung's apparent difficulties in coordinating the launch of the Galaxy S5 stand in contrast to Apple's debut of both the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in 11 countries and territories last October. Another 24 countries were added a month later, with a total of more than 100 countries carrying Apple's latest handsets by the end of 2013.

Samsung has said the Galaxy S5 will be available in more than 100 countries on a single day, April 11. But with early sales by South Korean carriers, some customers will be get their hands on the next-generation device well ahead of the date Samsung intended.

The next flagship handset from Samsung was announced in February at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. It packs a 5.1-inch display, fingerprint sensor, and a heart rate monitor on the rear of device, located next to the camera.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    How is it possible that does Samsung not have some sort of contract that covers this?
  • Reply 2 of 43
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,634member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    How is it possible that does Samsung not have some sort of contract that covers this?

    It's South Korea, land of companies that don't follow the law. Several telecoms have been found guilty of providing illegal subsidies, not just SK Telecom, and Samsung has been found guilty of improperly using other company's intellectual property. Why would you think any of these companies would play by the rules?

  • Reply 3 of 43
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    never mind my error

  • Reply 4 of 43
    rob53 wrote: »
    It's South Korea, land of companies that don't follow the law. Several telecoms have been found guilty of providing illegal subsidies, not just SK Telecom, and Samsung has been found guilty of improperly using other company's intellectual property. Why would you think any of these companies would play by the rules?

    Bingo. Plus they want this phone to not be considered "new" come 5 April. So they are doing their own thing. Samsung shouldn't be puzzled, and if you ask me, will benefit from this. Had they all waited? They wouldn't have been able to sell these new phones when launched in their home country.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,445member

    The tech writers and even some Samsung fanboys admit the S5 is more of an improved S4 than something really new. Samsung admits the fingerprint login is not as evolved as the iPhone’s TouchID. I have a hunch the S5 will sell well but not blow the doors off. The next iPhone, however, could be a real barn burner.

  • Reply 6 of 43

    Samsung should forget the coordinated protocol and simply get as many Galaxy S5 smartphones sold as possible.  A two weeks earlier head-start means a better window to get more S5 units sold before Apple comes out with a new iPhone.  I'm not sure why Samsung is so puzzled.  Each carrier wants to be the first to get consumers into their stores before the other carriers.

  • Reply 7 of 43
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post



    How is it possible that does Samsung not have some sort of contract that covers this?

    The same way they pay Celebs to show off their products only to use their Iphone to share the paid positive comment on an Iphone. Samsung has no control, once they sell the product to the service provider companies those company can pretty much do what they want. Notice how apple sell their products first or at the same time as the service providers, and apple ships them at the same time. It is obvious that Samsung is stuffing the channel with products again. 

  • Reply 8 of 43
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by iaeen View Post

    How is it possible that does Samsung not have some sort of contract that covers this?

     

    Because they’re worthless, pathetic idiots. That’s basically what it boils down to. Can’t create their own hardware, can’t create their own software, can’t create their own packaging, can’t create their own marketing. Why is it a surprise that they’ve also failed to create meaningful relationships with their carriers?

  • Reply 9 of 43
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    A two weeks earlier head-start means a better window to get more S5 units sold before Apple comes out with a new iPhone.

    Why in the world does that matter to you when you've worn out your soapbox by exclaiming on high that Apple is on a downward spiral without Jobs?
  • Reply 10 of 43
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    It packs a 5.1-inch display, fingerprint sensor, and a heart rate monitor on the rear of device, located next to the camera."

     

    Yes, and it comes with an attachable rubber handle to stir soup. It’s a seller.

  • Reply 11 of 43
    Reaping the results of unethical practice from the seeds of unethical practice they have sowed. IOW if they can scoff at ethics, others will too, by example.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member

    Samsung are puzzled about a lot of things . . .

     

    Phone releases, Intellectual Property laws, marketing, etc. 

  • Reply 13 of 43
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member

    Sounds like some people will soon be "visiting their relatives up north".   

  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    The tech writers and even some Samsung fanboys admit the S5 is more of an improved S4 than something really new. Samsung admits the fingerprint login is not as evolved as the iPhone’s TouchID. I have a hunch the S5 will sell well but not blow the doors off. The next iPhone, however, could be a real barn burner.


     

    Apple put out their voice recognition a little bit before it was ready -- and they still have to deal with jokes about calling mom. Regardless, the consumer marketplace is used to things that "just work" and have no care for how incredibly difficult speech to text really is (hence the improvement in voice recognition via samples over time). Suffice to say -- this "push it out early so we can avoid a punishment from the law" is short-term thinking and liable to bite them on the ass.

     

    My mom got an S5 for $50 (yeah, and of course the carrier subsidizes) -- that's a sweet deal. If they lose the subsidy and then have fingerprint recognition that doesn't work -- that's going to kill the premium brand identity they want to maintain.

     

    I can see the jokes already about the dog unlocking your phone and ordering bones with your credit card. Fingerprint recognition that isn't 100% is useless and not worth having.

     

    I'm not well studied in Korean business, but I was under the impression they had a lot of mono-corporations. A touch of fascism where one car maker, one telecom and one electronics company and the government stands behind them. Samsung isn't "Korea electronics"? Or was this punishment designed as a way to save face and they aren't going to enforce it? Samsung could just call every new phone the same old phone, after all.

     

    But we can't throw stones. All the cable and ISPs are merging and the US looks more and more like banana Republic business every day.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

    Samsung are puzzled about a lot of things . . .

     

    Phone releases, Intellectual Property laws, marketing, etc. 


     

    The "puzzled" part of it to me smacks of them doing what they want and acting surprised. It's part of the Dog and Pony show. If they were actually surprised, I'm guessing they wouldn't admit it. They's be shocked and outraged.

  • Reply 16 of 43
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,864member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Why in the world does that matter to you when you've worn out your soapbox by exclaiming on high that Apple is on a downward spiral without Jobs?

    Don't bother with him.

    ----

    I guess Sammy didn't write a bigger check? They sure won't punish the carriers by holding future releases a bit so Sammy is basically powerless.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    froodfrood Posts: 771member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    The tech writers and even some Samsung fanboys admit the S5 is more of an improved S4 than something really new. Samsung admits the fingerprint login is not as evolved as the iPhone’s TouchID. I have a hunch the S5 will sell well but not blow the doors off. The next iPhone, however, could be a real barn burner.


     

    I don't think there's a whole lot of 'new' in smartphones coming down the pike.  Heartbeat sensor/bio fitness stuff is nice but not really enough to redefine things.  So it's a little like PC's where yes, things progress- but the need to run out and buy a new one every year is getting less and less.  I think Apple has an advantage there because Apple fans always want to run out and buy the latest release in Q4.  Android has a lot flatter sales that don't spike with new releases, and I think the S5 is going to have the most *yawn* reception of all the Galaxy 'S' series to date.

     

    Apple could have an interesting year.  If they release improved iteration of the 5s I think that will be a bestseller (I know, I'm going out on a limb there).  If they *do* release the rumored big screen phone alongside it that's where things could get interesting.  Would be interesting to see if Apple packs a lot more punch into it, or if it is more of an equivalent to its smaller screened sibling.

     

    I hope if they do make a big one rather than try to get an extra millimeter thin or end up with a 'camera bulge' they just pack a big battery into it.  It is nice to just have 'battery life' as a minor occasional nuisance than a daily concern.

  • Reply 18 of 43
    But now they cannot have cake!

    At least Samsung users won't have to stand in lines being hip all day waiting for launch. Now There's no chance for the Apple fanboys to make snarky comments.

    But no CAKE either... Launching a new phone is a good excuse for cake.
  • Reply 19 of 43

    Didn't that phone come out ages ago?

  • Reply 20 of 43
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    Preemptive strike against the HTC One maybe?
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