Samsung is apparently puzzled about how it launched its new flagship Galaxy S5 in South Korea without knowing about it.
Last we heard, the S5 was delayed because of problems with the camera, but it turns out that Korea’s three mobile carriers rolled out the device in an effort to soften an impending sales ban.
The global release of the smartphone is scheduled for 11 April, six days after a 45-day sales ban comes into effect in Samsung’s home market of South Korea.
KT are LG UPlus are already under certain sales restrictions; however, they have proceeded to sell the Galaxy S5 to customers not covered by bans.
Samsung told Bloomberg that it was “very puzzled… SK Telecom strongly asked for an earlier release of the product but we delivered our stance that the global release date of 11 April remains unchanged”.
Samsung makes up approximately two thirds of the mobile market in South Korea and the country represents the fifth biggest market for the world’s largest mobile phone maker.
The sales ban was expected to hit South Korea’s mobile carriers hard as they would have missed out on signing up new customers in the crucial first months of the Galaxy S5 launch when publicity and hype surrounding the device is at its strongest.
Irene Kim, a spokeswoman for SK Telecom, said: “We decided to release the product for a wider consumer choice of handsets before our operation suspension begins on April 5.”
Already the pressure was on, HTC this week announced and started selling its One M8 flagship smartphone.