Korean watchdogs monitor Galaxy Note 8 as discounts for carrier contracts are way to high

- Adrian Ungureanu

Galaxy Note 8 has been picking up traction with robust initial sales in Korea, as two operators got a combined 270,000 new subscriptions in two days, account for 32 percent of the entire 850,000 preorders that Samsung received in eight days from Sep. 7.

The preceding Galaxy Note 7 and Galaxy S8 lured around 160,000, and 260,000 new subscribers, respectively, on the first day of sales.

The popularity of the phone, however, has raised concerns about overly competitive marketing schemes by mobile carriers, such as excessive subsidies, which led the nation’s telecom watchdog Korea Communications Commission to strengthen its monitoring.

Around 500,000 won of subsidy, higher than the legal limit of 333,000 won, has reportedly been given to some new Note 8 customers.

The number of mobile subscribers who switched their carriers reached 38,452 on Sep 15, which is above the threshold of 240,000, deemed as a signal for heated market conditions by the KCC.

Market watchers forecast the Note 8 can gain further momentum in sales as it will have no direct competition with US tech firm Apple’s iPhone X until its scheduled global release on Nov. 3.