Samsung Electronics is rolling out its new Galaxy S5 smartphone on Thursday through SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus. The gadget will be priced at W860,000 (US$1=W1,079).
Samsung originally planned to start sales of the phone both in Korea and overseas on April 11, but SK Telecom called for the product to be released here first and Samsung agreed.
SK Telecom wanted to get its hands on the phone as soon as possible since it has been slapped with a 45-day sales ban from April 5 to May 19 after the three mobile operators were found guilty of offering excessive subsidies to new customers.
KT and LG Uplus, which are already banned from sales activities, will be unable to attract new subscribers but are allowed to take care of existing customers who want to switch to the new phone.
At present, there is not enough stock to meet large supply orders, according to industry insiders. One said only a small volume will be available at limited dealerships.
Samsung has been massively plugging the phone in 61 countries since Feb. 21.