[THE INVESTOR] More than 1.6 million consumers have visited experiential zones for Samsung Electronics’ new Galaxy S8 series smartphones, as of April 15, the company said on April 16.
The areas are located at 40 locations nationwide and opened on April 1.
“Visitors were impressed with the Infinity Display of the S8 series and many showed interest in the bezel-less design,” the company said in a statement. The Samsung smartphones are slated for official launch April 14.
Samsung has expressed confidence toward its target of 1 million preorders for the latest gadgets, but some industry watchers have raised skepticism that the company’s estimate may be too bold, with some even citing possible double counts.
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On April 13, the company said preorders of its flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 had hit 700,000 units here since beginning on April 7.
“The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus reached 728,000 units, as of Wednesday, in Korea,” said Samsung’s mobile business chief Koh Dong-jin at a media conference in Seoul. “We are aiming to sell 1 million units before the official launch.”
“Although we are not able to disclose the exact figure, preorders of the Galaxy S8 are higher than those of its predecessor Galaxy S7 in the US,” he added.
At a press conference held by the Korea Mobile Distributors Association on the same day, some participants raised questions over the figure Samsung had revealed.
The association has the membership of 1,000 local mobile distributors that sell handsets through all three mobile carriers of the country.
“A large part of the preorder number could be imaginary,” said one of the members to the media. “Because Samsung collects numbers from mobile carriers’ branches as well as independent distributors, there could be a high possibility of double counting.”
However, Samsung said it had no reason to inflate the figure.
“The released preorder number is a tally of pre-subscriptions with three telecom companies,” a Samsung spokesman said. “Owing to extremely high interest in the S8 series, the number of preorders is several times higher than those for the previous models.”
Preorders of the previous Galaxy S7 model were about 200,000 units and the number for the Note 7 model was approximately 400,000.
“The final number may turn out to be different but we have no reason to inflate the preorders,” he added.
Samsung also currently runs an online experiential zone for the upcoming smartphones on its homepage, as part of efforts to market the new products in the three weeks before they hit shelves here.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)