Mobile carriers release the Galaxy S5 early in South Korea

South Korea’s major carriers have pulled their Galaxy S5 launch date forward to, well, today, despite Samsung’s efforts to keep the native networks in line with the global launch date on April 11. According to a statement received by Bloomberg, Samsung is “very puzzled.” “SK strongly asked form an earlier release of the product by we delivered our stance that the global release date of April 11 remains unchanged.”

Samsung Electronics Co. failed to keep its new Galaxy S5 smartphone from going on sale early in South Korea today as SK Telecom Co. and other carriers try to work around penalties imposed by the national regulator. The world’s largest mobile phone maker planned to release the phone on April 11, yet that date would be in the middle of state-imposed suspensions preventing SK and KT Corp. from doing business. LG Uplus Corp.’s suspensions surround that date. Samsung is getting drawn into a battle among Korean carriers for users, with illegal discounts prompting the government regulator to limit their ability to sign up new customers for 45 days. Samsung is counting on the marquee device to maintain its lead in a global smartphone market where it competes with Apple Inc. for high-end shoppers and Chinese producers including Xiaomi Corp. target budget buyers.

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