Samsung’s 2014 flagship, the Galaxy S5, is going to be released on April 11th. The smartphone will be released in over 100 countries around the world, and Samsung’s home turf, South Korea, is usually on the list of the very first countries to receive its latest products. The company needs to maximize Galaxy S5 sales from the get go, and even though South Korea accounts for a fraction of Samsung’s global phone sales, the company’s new flagship might not get off to a good start, in fact it may not get off the line at all.
Its not that the company has lost carrier support in the country, its actually due to a ban imposed on carriers by the country’s telecommunications regulator. SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG UPlus Corp have all been banned from signing up customers or replacing existing phones from March 13th to May 19th because they were found to be subsidizing smartphones by more than $250, which is against regulations.
A Samsung spokeswoman wouldn’t comment on the impact of this sales ban because the company apparently hasn’t decided when it is to start selling its latest flagship on its home turf. Within the first three months of 2013 Samsung was able to sell 20 million units of the Galaxy S4, it would certainly be aiming to break that record, but would that be possible with a blanket ban across South Korea? Time will tell.