The Korea Times reported that Samsung squarely denied yesterday's rumor about a possible early launch for the Galaxy S5. After a weekly meeting of Samsung's board of directors, JK Shin (pictured), co-CEO and head of the company's mobile division, told reporters that “Samsung hasn’t agreed with SK Telecom for an early release of our GS5 to only SK Telecom customers."
It appears that the two companies were indeed discussing to launch the handset early, on March 27 (this Thursday), possibly as an exclusive to SK Telecom. That would have been in order to circumvent impending government bans on smartphone sales in South Korea, a measure detrimental to Samsung, local carriers, and ultimately, customers.
Apparently, the talks went as far as to make SK Telecom prepare an official statement in advance, which was to notify customers about the Galaxy S5 being available from March 27. The plan had been approved by the telecom's top management, but canceled after Samsung announced its decision to not cooperate with the carrier.
Although Mr. Shin didn't explicitly deny that the Galaxy S5 won't be out earlier in other countries, or for other telecoms, it feels naive to think about the possibility of a South Korean or global launch tomorrow. If this was the case, we reckon the announcement would have came earlier. Although the Galaxy S5 will have launch events across some countries (such as India and Malaysia) on March 27, as far as we know, the smartphone will start selling everywhere from April 11, as originally planned. The global rollout will cover 150 countries, although South Korean customers will have very limited options to get the phone until prohibition ends.