Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005935) is set for a simultaneous launch of its new Galaxy S5 smartphone in 150 countries on April 11, but a report said Tuesday that the company could be forced to move the launch date forward in South Korea due to recent developments in the market.
According to a report from The Korea Herald, an upcoming ban on local network operators could force Samsung to launch the Galaxy S5 earlier than previously thought. The ban is said to stop carriers from selling smartphones for a period of 45 days, which has prompted Samsung to aim for a launch a few days before April 5 -- the day when the ban goes into effect -- in South Korea.
“If Samsung Electronics rolls out its new smartphones after April 5, it will have a smaller impact on the market through (relying on just) KT and LG Uplus,” a source from SK Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE:SKM), one of the largest mobile operators in Korea, told The Korea Herald.
Reuters reported earlier this month that a 45-day ban on local carriers selling phones, following moves to illegally subsidize smartphone prices, could lead to a slow start for the Galaxy S5 in South Korea.
The Reuters report cited Lee Min-hee, an analyst with IM Investment & Securities, as saying that the ban “may see S5 sales in the first three months falling short of the 20 million S4s sold within three months of the predecessor's launch.”
According to a report from SamMobile, launching the Galaxy S5 before April 5 would give enough time for the new handset to gain popularity. The report added that every new Samsung smartphone garners impressive sales numbers in the first week of its launch and the new Galaxy S5 would be no exception.
While the Korea Herald report said a March 27 release date for the Samsung Galaxy S5 in South Korea is rumored, SamMobile reported that the launch is more likely to take place by the end of the month.
“Although Samsung is a global company, it is based in Korea. It cannot underestimate the impact of the No. 1 carrier SK Telecom,” a source close to Samsung told The Korea Herald. “Samsung is considering rescheduling the release date before April 5 when SK Telecom‘s business suspension starts.”