Carriers keep slashing subsidies for S6
Subsidies on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones at mobile carrier KT almost reached the 330,000 won ($305) ceiling on Friday.
This brings the price tag for the least expensive S6 model to as low as 480,000 won, just a week after its release.
As long as the subsidies stay below the government-mandated limit, carriers may adjust the scale of subsidies once a week.
Customers who opt for more expensive monthly plans receive larger device subsidies.
Second-largest provider KT announced on Friday that it has raised the subsidies for Galaxy S6’s 32-gigabyte (GB) model from 211,000 won to 327,000 won for subscribers of its most costly plan, priced at 99,000 won per month.
The subsidies for a Galaxy S6 64GB model rose from 201,000 won to 317,000 won.
If the customer receives additional subsidies that respective stores are allowed to give out - 15 percent of the subsidies the carrier provides - the 32GB S6 may get as cheap as 481,950 won, or 133,400 won lower than just a week earlier.
By comparison, a 16GB iPhone 6 costs 547,150 won and a 64GB model runs 681,350 won after subsidies.
Apple’s flagship phones do not have a 32GB segment.
But the subsidy gap for the more upscale S6 Edge models over the one-week period is smaller, probably because carriers have yet to acquire enough of the devices.
According to industry sources, Samsung is having supply issues with the S6 Edge’s display - a curved and double-sided AMOLED screen that is the first of its kind to enter the market.
KT said the subsidies for the S6 Edge’s 32GB model will rise from 172,000 won to 250,000 won. Subsidies on the 64GB model will grow from 164,000 won to 240,000 won.
The third-largest carrier, LG U+, also announced it would boost the size of subsidies between 60,000 won and 80,000 won for the subscribers of its most expensive plan at 89,900 won per month.
But top carrier SK Telecom did not disclose a renewed subsidy plan as of Friday afternoon.
Its spokesman said the company is “monitoring the situation with competitors,” adding it will increase the subsidy size soon.
He did not rule out the possibility the adjustment will be unveiled Saturday.
SK Telecom lost its 50 percent share of the mobile market last year for the first time since 2001.
BY SEO JI-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]