updated 12:35 pm EDT, Tue July 13, 2010
Samsung sells 300K Galaxy S phones in Korea in 19d
SK Telecom today said it had sold 300,000 of Samsung's Galaxy S in just 19 days. The figure is a record for both the Korean carrier and Samsung and already puts the Android flagship at more than a third of the sales of the iPhone. KT, Apple's exclusive carrier in South Korea, had managed to sell 800,000 iPhones by the end of June.
The tally may be important relief for both Samsung and SK Telecom, both of which have seen their control of the local cellular business face a rare upset by a non-Korean company. KT has gone so far as to suggest that Samsung was retaliating against the iPhone by preventing KT from properly branding its Samsung smartphones and delaying firmware updates.
Android is also likely to benefit. Beyond expanding Google's still small footprint in Korea, the Galaxy S is Samsung's first truly high-end Android phone and its first to have a coordinated, worldwide release. It will reach virtually every US carrier with slight variations and is already reaching Europe. Samsung doesn't expect to beat Apple with the one model, but the company's mobile head Shin Jong-kyun expects to move 10 million of the phones over an unspecified period and could improve Samsung's overall position in smartphones when combined with lower-end phones like the Galaxy Spica.
Achieving this may be difficult, as KT is due to get the iPhone 4 soon and may be joined by SK Telecom if negotiations with Apple are confirmed.