Samsung Galaxy S5 In-Store Advance Surprise Release: Where to Get S5 Ahead of Release Date?

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By Precious Silva | March 30, 2014 10:16 AM EST

Samsung Galaxy S5 went on sale in South Korea - but Samsung did not know. Apparently, the Samsung Galaxy S5 became available in South Korea around two weeks earlier than its official release on the market. Samsung announced previously that the new smartphone will be available starting April 11. Did Samsung change the release date? What really happened? 

Reuters
A new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 23, 2014. Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smart watch and fitness band along with the latest version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.Picture taken on February 23. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Samsung previously said in an announcement that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will hit shelves in around 150 countries on April 11. It appears that is a long waiting time as people in South Korea started getting access to the device. South Korean SK Telecom released the device last March 27 beginning at 866,800 won. 

Korean networks have been eager to sell the S5 to customers because they cannot sign up new users between April to May. This is part of the penalty from the Korean government regarding illegal subsidy of new users. The sanction excludes the likes of SK Telecom, LG Uplus Corp and KT Corp from selling the device starting the release date. 

SK Telecom went against the herd and began selling prior to Samsung's official release. 

"We just wanted to provide the device to local users as soon as possible. It is for the good of our subscribers," the Korea Herald quoted an official from SK Telecom. CNET quoted Samsung saying that the company already: "provided mobile carriers with a limited number of units for marketing and pre-sales activities, but 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." 

Analysts think it is a bold and risky move for a carrier to offer a device against its own manufacturer. Samsung remains as one if not the biggest supplier of mobile phones in its market today. It can be a problematic move for SK Telecom in the future. Samsung Galaxy S5 offers the following features:

  • Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.1 inches (~432 ppi pixel density)
  • 16 MP, 5312 x 2988 pixels, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
  • Android OS, v4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • Qualcomm MSM8974AC Snapdragon 801
  • Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400
  • Adreno 330
  • Wireless charging (market dependent)
  • ANT+ support
  • S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
  • Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll
  • Air gestures
  • Dropbox (50 GB cloud storage)
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • TV-out (via MHL 2 A/V link)

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(Photo: Reuters / )
A new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone is displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 23, 2014. Samsung Electronics unveiled a new smart watch and fitness band along with the latest version of its flagship Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.Picture taken on February 23. REUTERS/Albert Gea
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