The government ban on smartphone sales in South Korea could pressure Samsung into launching the Galaxy S5 earlier than planned. The three major South Korean carriers are being punished for illegal subsidizing with a ban on smartphone sales, including the Samsung Galaxy S5. Due to this, the device won’t go on sale until about two weeks after its planned April 11 launch date.
Although Sammy will debut its flagship phone in about 150 countries simultaneously, postponing the premiere in its home country appears to be undesirable. A source inside South Korea Telecom, the nation’s largest carrier, stated that if the S5 launches after April 5, which is when the government ban will hit the telecom, the smartphone will “have a smaller impact on the market” according to a SK Telecom spokesman. If the S5 debuts on April 11, only LG U+, South Korea’s smallest carrier, will have the opportunity to sell it for a short period between April 11 and 27.
Obviously, this is unacceptable for Samsung. “Although Samsung is a global company, it is based in Korea. It cannot underestimate the impact of the No. 1 carrier SK Telecom.” – an inside source told the Korean Herald, and added – “Samsung is considering rescheduling the release date before April 5 when SK Telecom‘s business suspension starts.”
Another source suggested that an early South Korean launch might affect the global release date as well. Reportedly, the new date is March 27, which is this Thursday. If that’s true, then Samsung and the three carriers will have to hastily put together and promote a launch event. In addition, we doubt that the company has produced enough Galaxy S5 units to meet demand.
Pouring fuel into the fire, a Korean report suggests that Samsung is facing issues with the coating process for the S5’s lens module. Although they are making good progress in fixing these errors, the Korean tech-giant has definitely taken a hit as a result.. Due to these difficulties, the company expects to have between 4 to 5 million units ready at launch, while it originally aimed towards 7 million units. Furthermore, pulling the launch event to March 27 means that the phone will sell for about week and a half until April 5 in South Korea, before sales there are suspended. This sounds like an awkward plan, considering the huge initial demand for the phone.
Ultimately, we advice against holding your breath for a sudden Thursday launch. But who knows, maybe Samsung and the telecoms will figure out a way to circumvent the government ban and bring the Galaxy S5 earlier than expected.