Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S7, which has been expected as the latest smartphone, is showing lower pre-order sales than its previous models.
According to industry sources on March 8, the company started taking preorders of its Galaxy S7 from all three of the nation's carriers, beginning on March 4. Customers who signed up with the carriers for preorders will get a "Gear VR" headset for free. However, consumers have not shown dramatic responses, which overwhelm that of the Galaxy S6 released last year.
Market watchers believe that this is not because the Galaxy S7 is unpopular but rather consumers no longer prefer the preorder system. There are complex reasons to hesitate the purchase of the latest smartphone.
First, consumers cannot know the exact factory prices and official subsidies during the preorder period, and new subscribers, who want to switch from one company to another, think that it is better to wait and see until they find out subsidies by mobile carrier and calling plan.
Another factor is that free gifts, which are to be offered to consumers who signed up for preorders, are not that attractive. The Gear VR is priced at 129,800 won (US$107) but consumers can buy a new product at 60,000 to 70,000 won (US$50 to 58) on online used shopping sites.
Moreover, LG Electronics’ G5, the first commercial modular handset with removable battery, will be launched as early as the end of this month, and Apple’s iPhone 7 is expected to be released in Sept. this year.
In addition, the demand of low-end smartphones, which grew in earnest from last year, remained strong. Smartphones priced at some 300,000 won (US$248), such as KT’s Galaxy J7 and SK Telecom’s Sol, are becoming the steady seller.