It seems that the GOS scandal has seriously tarnished the image of the Galaxy S22 series in South Korea. The Korea Times reports that Samsung’s carrier partners have had to significantly amp up the subsidies to keep sales from falling.
KT and LG Uplus are now offering KRW 450,000 ($370/€335) in subsidy for the Galaxy S21 and KRW 500,000 ($410/€375) for the Galaxy S22+ with select plans (over KRW 90,000 for KT and KRW 85,000 for LG). The Galaxy S22 Ultra was already getting KRW 500,00 in subsidies, has been since last month.
For comparison, the initial level of subsidies were on the level of KRW 150,000, a third of the current amount. The change in subsidies was agreed upon by Samsung and the carriers.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 trio
While the sagging demand is being blamed on GOS (throttling in select games and apps), one anonymous carrier representative doesn’t see it that way:
“There is a view that the GOS issue adversely affects the sales of the S22, but there is no clear decline in terms of sales volume. There is demand for devices not only from those who play games, but also from those who do not play games. There has been controversy over the GOS, but there are two high-end smartphone brands ― Samsung’s Galaxy S series and Apple’s iPhone ― so we don’t see a clear sales decline of the Galaxy devices.”
An analyst at Eugene Investment & Securities is forecasting an operating profit of KRW 4 trillion for Samsung’s mobile device business in Q1, an increase of KRW 1.3 trillion compared to the last three months of 2021. The analyst doesn’t buy the carrier’s explanation, however , and does believe that the GOS scandal “left a big scar on the credibility of the Galaxy and Samsung brands”.