U.S. carriers push latest Samsung, LG devices

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U.S. carriers push latest Samsung, LG devices

American mobile carriers are holding aggressive marketing events to encourage consumers to buy the latest Korean-made smartphones.

Verizon Wireless, the largest carrier in the United States, is currently holding a “one plus one” event for Samsung Electronics’ latest Galaxy S7 series.

On the homepage of Verizon’s website, a sliding advertisement reads “Buy a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or Galaxy S7. Get one free.”

AT&T, another leading American carrier, says it will give a 48-inch Samsung TV as a freebie to Galaxy S7 buyers on the condition that they subscribe to the carrier’s satellite TV service by the end of April.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones, which went on sale worldwide in March, have helped boost the first quarter sales of the largest smartphone maker in Korea. The two smartphones have sold over 10 million units globally.

In the United States and Europe in particular, the S7 series sold far more than its predecessor, the S6, according to Samsung insiders.

According to Counterpoint, a technology market researcher, the Galaxy S7 series is showing as much as 30 percent higher sales in the United States than the S6 series.

U.S. carriers are also offering deals on LG Electronics’ latest G5 smartphone, with some offering free battery packs with a purchase. Both Verizon and AT&T also offer $100 discounts on the G5 for buyers of LG’s Watch Urbane 2nd Edition.

In the American smartphone market, Samsung and LG have the second- and third-largest market shares after Apple. Both companies are getting positive reactions from U.S. consumers with their latest products, the S7 series and G5, which is heating up overseas competition between the two.

But some Korean media outlets have been highly critical of the Korean companies, alleging that the aggressive market tactics outside the country are unfair to Korean consumers because they let others get the same devices for cheaper.

Samsung says there’s little it can do about the marketing, as it conducted entirely by the carriers.

“There must be some misunderstanding,” said Lee Won-ho, a spokesman for Samsung, by phone. “Such market events are led by U.S. mobile carriers, not Samsung.”

BY SONG SU-HYUN [song.suhyun@joongang.co.kr]

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