Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge sales underwhelming

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge sales underwhelming

About 200,000 units of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S6 series were sold in Korea between April 10 and Sunday, generating mixed reactions across the board.

After industry data quoted by multiple local media outlets, Samsung Electronics confirmed on Wednesday that the number of Galaxy S6 and S6 Edges sold was between 200,000 and 250,000.

“We are not allowed to mention the exact sales figure,” said a representative of Samsung Electronics’ handset division.

The estimate accounts for roughly 70 percent of the estimated preorder figure of 300,000 units, leading to skepticism on the part of some analysts concerning the prospects for Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone in the domestic market.

“The launch of the iPhone6 already took away some of the share for premium smartphones,” said Kang Bong-woo, an IT analyst at LIG Investment & Securities.

Kang also cited the government’s move to cap the amount of subsidies as a negative factor.

Under the Mobile Device Distribution Improvement Act implemented last year, telecommunications providers are banned from offering subsidies exceeding 330,000 won ($306), which consequently raises prices.

Carriers often offer financial assistance far lower than the maximum allowable and gradually raise the amount depending on market conditions.

The arbitrary changes can make early buyers feel ripped off.

Upon release of the signature models subsidies by the three major carriers were about 200,000 won, but now some data plans are offering more than 300,000 won in subsidies.

Others say the 10-day sales estimate is not enough to project ultimate sales for the Galaxy S6 series.

“Here we have different factors to consider,” said Greg Roh, a chief researcher at HMC Investment Securities.

“Galaxy S6 Edge will drive the sales this time. But supplying the Edge model won’t be as smooth as expected due to issues related to producing its curved screen, so the issue can make early sales look slow, but sales might get stronger going forward, as Samsung Electronics increases production of the Edge model.”

He also mentioned that a number of users are in a wait-and-see mode because of fluctuating subsidies.

Meanwhile, LG Electronics launched preorder sales of its latest flagship smartphone, the G4, on Wednesday ahead of the official release set for April 29.

Competing with Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S6 series, the country’s second-largest phone maker has embarked on an aggressive promotion campaign. Those placing an order during the preorder period will receive a 64GB external hard drive regardless of their carriers.

The tech powerhouse also will provide a one-year warranty that covers display repairs to anyone who purchases the G4 by May 31.

LG Electronics has high hopes for the latest model of its G series. Leaked information indicates the phone maker has significantly upgraded the device’s camera.

G4’s 16 mega-pixel camera is equipped with an f/1.8 lens that can provide higher color accuracy. Its camera also allows users to set shutter speed, ISO and white balance for each shot, a unusual feature for a phone camera.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]

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