Samsung is in a very interesting position at this point in time in South Korea – an earlier report did suggest that Samsung could launch the upcoming Galaxy S5 flagship earlier than expected, before Samsung stepped forward to deny such claims, which means that Samsung would comply with the government’s temporary ban on the handset. You know what they say – where there’s a will, there is a way, and whatever ban in place has not stopped the Galaxy S5 going on sale earlier in South Korea as SK Telecom Co. and other carriers attempt to weasel their way around the penalties that are imposed by the national regulator.
Originally scheduled to be introduced this coming April 11 which is a couple of weeks away, that date happens to fall right smack in the midst of state-imposed suspensions which would prevent the likes of SK Telecom and KT Corp. from selling the device.
Samsung is right now in the midst of a legal battle among Korean carriers for users, where illegal discounts caused the government regulator to limit their ability to sign up new customers for a total of 45 days. Samsung hopes that the Galaxy S5 will help cushion Samsung’s bottomline in the smartphone market as they compete against the iPhone and other high end devices.
Samsung did share, “We are very puzzled. 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.”
A spokesperson for SK Telecom did mention, however, “We decided to release the product for a wider consumer choice of handsets before our operation suspension begins on April 5.” That would mean you can pick up the Galaxy S5 for 866,800 won ($808 after conversion) from SK Telecom’s 3,000 retail stores as well as website from today.