SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The global launch of Samsung’s latest smartphone is being upstaged by South Korean mobile network companies.
SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, said it will start selling the Galaxy S5 on Thursday, two weeks before the scheduled sales launch on April 11.
Samsung said in a statement that it is “very puzzled” by SK Telecom’s decision and is deciding how to respond.
Other mobile operators are following SK Telecom’s move to release the phone early.
The unusual step comes as SK Telecom and other mobile carries face a 45 day suspension from accepting new customers as a penalty for providing illegal phone subsidies.
Mobile carriers already have the Galaxy S5 in stock in preparation for its launch.