By AsiaToday reporter Park Ji-eun - Samsung's latest flagship smartphone Galaxy S8 is closing in on 1 million pre-orders, which surpasses all past records of other smartphones in domestic market, including Apple's iPhone series. The Galaxy S8 has been shipped since Saturday, and most of pre-order customers are expected to activate their new smartphones on Tuesday and Wednesday. The telecom industry expects that 90% of the pre-order customers will actually activate their new phones.
◇ Samsung going straight toward 1 million pre-order target in domestic market
Samsung Electronics ended receiving pre-orders for its Galaxy S8 at 12 pm on Monday. The Galaxy 8 was available for preorder at Samsung Digital Plaza, official agencies of three mobile telecom companies, and retailers.
The official number of pre-orders was 728,000 units as of April 12. The number is likely to surpass 1 million if it received more than 50,000 new pre-orders per day since then. An official from Samsung Electronics said, "It's difficult to reveal the specific figure yet, but Samsung is very close to meet its target."
The tech giant has previously set 1 million pre-order target for the Galaxy S8. "Samsung has set 1 million target for Galaxy 8 pre-orders in South Korea alone," Samsung's mobile sales team chief Kim Jin-hae said in the Galaxy S8 press conference on Apr. 13. "The Galaxy S8 is a smartphone that is safe to use," said Koh Dong-jin, the president of Samsung's mobile communications business.
Samsung's intensified marketing efforts at the last moment also led to boost pre-orders. The company operated some 40 Galaxy S8 experience zones in major department stores and shopping malls in Seoul starting on April 1. The Galaxy S8 experience zones were also set up at three mobile carrier agencies. Nearly 1.6 million people have visited the experience zones, according to the company.
◇ Activation available on Apr. 18
Some point out that the 728,000 pre-orders claimed by Samsung may be exaggerated. The number of the three mobile carrier agencies and the number of Samsung smartphone retailers are balanced against each other. And the thing is that you can make pre-order request to all the three mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus - in a retail store, which can eventually exaggerate the pre-order figure.
However, Lee Jong-cheon, executive director of the Korea Mobile Communication and Distribution Association, said, "Some of pre-orders received at retailers across the country overlap, but it's only a fraction of them."
"The demand for Samsung's premium smartphone is robust. The actual activation rate is expected to exceed 80% due to the announcement of subsidy plans in consultation with three mobile carriers," Lee said.
The three telecom carriers will activate pre-ordered Galaxy S8 smartphones at 7 am on Tuesday. Those who pre-ordered the Galaxy S8 128GB model will have to wait until next month to activate their phones.