updated 08:22 am EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
Carriers breach Galaxy S5 release early over 45-day sales suspension
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has gone on sale in South Korea, two weeks before is April 11 global release date. Carriers in the country are making the flagship smartphone available to buy now, with one doing so ahead of a 45-day new-subscriber suspension period imposed on carriers for providing smartphone subsidies deemed to be illegal.
SK Telecom asked Samsung if it could sell the Galaxy S5 early, as its 45-day suspension starts from April 5th, reports Bloomberg. A statement from Samsung advises "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." Shortly after SK Telecom announced the early sale, other carriers decided to offer their customers the device early too.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The ban by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning is already in effect at the second-largest carrier KT running until April 26th. LG Uplus will be blocked from accepting new subscribers or upgrading devices until April 4th, with the ban being reinstated on April 27th. Both carriers will be able to provide the Galaxy S5 to existing customers, provided they meet certain conditions.
The carriers are all selling stock allocations they have already received from Samsung for marketing purposes and for the intended launch-day sales, according to a Samsung statement received by The Verge. On SK Telecom's choice, the company notes "the decision to release the device early in the Korean market was made by the mobile carrier itself, independently of Samsung. We express our regret at this decision and we are working to verify all the facts."