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Samsung Galaxy S5 released early to beat South Korean sales bans

Samsung's flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone has gone on sale early in South Korea.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has gone on early release in South Korea because the country's biggest networks would not have been able to sell the device on the manufacturer's official release date.

Samsung was due to release the Galaxy S5 in South Korea on 11 April, butSK Telecom and KT Corp both decided to launch the device early due to state-imposed suspensions, preventing networks from doing business on that date.

LG Uplus will also be banned from selling the device on 11 April, but it is not yet clear whether the company will put it on sale early too.

The suspensions prevent any networks signing up new customers for 45 days after a new device is released because previously, companies like SK Telecom and KT Corp, were offering illegal discounts to new customers if they bought a new device.

To prevent this happening, the suspension has been put in place for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - one of the most hyped devices in South Korea. The suspension will come into play for SK Telecomon 5 April until 19 May, whileKT's ban applies until 26 April. LG's Uplus network will be unable to sell the handset to new customers between 4 April and 27 April.

Irene Kim, a spokeswoman for SK Telecom told Bloomberg Businessweek: "We decided to release the product for a wider consumer choice of handsets before our operation suspension begins on April 5."

Samsung said:"SK Telecom strongly asked for an earlier release of the product but we delivered our stance that the global release date of April 11 remains unchanged."

ExistingKT and LG Uplus are able to buy the device within the suspension period, but only under certain conditions.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 launched at Mobile World Congress in February and features a 5.1-inch screen and a fingerprint sensor that doubles up as a heart rate monitor. It's dust and water-resistant and boasts a 16-megapixel camera.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is due to launch in the UK on April 11.

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