Mobile carriers defy tech giant, Samsung [2014/04/10 10:09]

SK Telecom, the only mobile carrier currently operating in Korea, began sales of the Samsung Galaxy S5 on March 27. This move was particularly *puzzling for the tech giant, because SK Telecom did not receive *prior *consent before the launch.

The Galaxy S5, which was first unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain in February, was scheduled for an official global launch on April 11. However, SK Telecom decided to go ahead with an early launch without first receiving consent from Samsung. When asked about the early launch, the CEO of Samsung Electronics’ mobile unit Shin Jong-kyun *initially denied that it was happening. In fact, reports say that he was “*visibly uncomfortable” by the news.

Despite Shin’s denial, however, all three mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT Corp, and LG Uplus Corp. - have begun sales of the Galaxy S5. Even more interesting is that neither KT Corp. nor LG Uplus Corp. is allowed to sign new subscribers thanks to the recent business suspensions handed down by the government. This, however, has not *deterred the two carriers from offering its current customers with the option to purchase the new Galaxy S5.

The reason why this issue drew a lot of interest is because it is rare for Samsung to be pushed around. In this instance, SK Telecom seems to have successfully *persuaded the tech giant to allow for an early Korean launch of their latest smartphone. In the past, Samsung has stuck by its tradition of launching new products simultaneously around the world.

“SK Telecom, by using its position as the market’s No. 1 carrier, has pushed the envelope as far as it can to get Samsung to bend over backward,” an industry watcher told The Korea Herald.

Business suspension schedule:
The business suspensions imposed onto the nation’s three mobile carriers means that they are not allowed to sign up new customers during the following dates.
 LG Uplus Corp. - March 13-April 4 / April 27-May 18
 KT Corp. -March 13-April 26
 SK Telecom -April 5-May 19
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