April 26, 2013 10:31
Samsung Electronics began selling its latest Galaxy S4 smartphone on Friday, one day after a press tour in Seoul that kicked off in London earlier this week to promote the new gadget.
The Korean electronics giant said the latest upgrade to its hugely successful Galaxy smartphone lineup will become available at stores in a further 10 countries including the U.S. and UK on Saturday.
In Korea, it is being offered by all three major mobile carriers -- SK Telecome, KT and LG Uplus -- at a price of W890,000 (US$1=W1,113).
"We received a larger-than-expected number of pre-orders and we're experiencing difficulties meeting demand," said Lee Don-ju, an executive of the company's mobile business division. "We're pleased with the initial response we've seen, and we're expecting much better results than what we saw with its predecessor." Samsung has sold around 50 million units of the S3 worldwide since it was released in June.
The newest model comes with 32GB of data storage space and is available in either black or white. Samsung plans to introduce a broader palette as well as 16GB and 64GB models further down the road, it said.
"We are also testing a much-upgraded version that would adopt next-generation mobile communications services [such as advanced long-term evolution]," Lee said. "The new model will be unveiled soon."
"We hope to boost our domestic market share to more than 70 percent with the S4, from the current 60 percent-level," said another executive from Samsung's sales division.
Meanwhile, Pantech's latest smartphone, the Vega Iron, also hit the shelves on Friday with a sticker price of W829,400. The smartphone gets its name from its metallic edges. Pantech is giving away free phone cases to customers who purchase the handset early.
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