surely this will equally hurt (for example) HTC and Apple sales too? I know they arent launching a new product right now but they will at some stage.
The launch of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone the Galaxy S5 could be derailed in its home market after the South Korean government slapped a business ban on the country’s three largest operators. The 45-day ban will prevent SK Telecom, KT Corporation and LG UPlus from signing up new customers, selling new phones or …
The ban is only for 45 days. So no.
It's now seems probable Sammy held a crisis meeting late last year, not just because of flagging S4 sales, but because after the launch of the iPhone 5S, it was clear to them their planned S5 handset would not be sufficiently competitive. They brought the S5 launch forward, I think, as part of a plan to write off this current generation in terms of overhauling the iPhone, and focus on the next - the S6 - (people forget, over the lifetime of each their handsets, they sell far fewer of the Galaxy line than Apple do iPhones; its lower cost Android handsets they are selling by the bucketload).
The Galaxy line of handsets is where the money is for Samsung so to keep ascending, they need renewed success with the Galaxy range.
The S5 was announced a year after the S4, which was announced a year after the "SIII" - how is that bringing anything forward?
And re post above, Apple probably sell about 4 handsets a week in South Korea so I doubt they're bovvered.
I wanna see our MNOs get slapped for over-subsidising... They give away TVs and still make 25% margin.
In response to the original question: iPhone is not popular in Korea, so no. It might be "#1 foreign brand", but it accounts for only about 4% of smartphone sales (note, smartphone, not "all phones"). Koreans buy Korean - it's a national pride thing.
Agree with Bob G: subsidies are corrosive and bad for the customer. Only Apple is benefitting from the current setup, but those "free iPhones"? your aunt, your grandad, and everyone else with a plain old voice phone is paying for them... that can't be right.
"how is that bringing anything forward?"
The S5 was announced earlier in the year than the S4. In an unexpected move this year Samsung made their announcement in Feb at MWC in Barcelona. Last year they booked out a New York music hall in March and had something of a bizarre/disastrous/embarrassing product launch. It seemed rapid S3 sales had gone to their heads and they became fixated with "bigger," "better," "showier" only to screw-up royally on the "better" part of the equation.
Used to have a couple of Galaxy phones, but personally for my next refresh this year, I'm probably looking towards the new HTC One, or the Xperia Z2
Astonishingly small fanfare
for an astonishingly small improvement. Compared the specs vs my 54 and it's a huge Meh.