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Samsung cuts Galaxy S22 prices in Korea after throttling controversy

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Reports said in mid-February that the Galaxy S22 series hit record sales in Korea during preorders. The phone outsold the Galaxy S8, the last phone to top 1 million units during preorders. Just over a month later, Samsung is reportedly ready to offer big Galaxy S22 price cuts in the country.

Apparently, the Galaxy S22 throttling controversy impacted sales in the region. As a result, Samsung and carriers have decided to offer significant subsidies to buyers looking for one of the three new models.

What is the Galaxy S22 throttling issue?

Soon after buyers got their hands on the preordered Galaxy S22 units, they discovered that a service installed on the handsets would throttle performance. The Game Optimizing Service (GOS) is an app found on various other Galaxy devices. It’s supposed to prevent overheating and preserve battery life. But users who discovered the issue also found that Samsung was cheating in benchmark apps.

Some speculated that problems with the Galaxy S22 processor or cooling system might have led to the throttling behavior that customers observed soon after buying the phone. Some went even further, saying that Samsung looked for price cuts on Galaxy S22 components. Samsung’s need to save money isn’t necessarily surprising. After all, the Galaxy S22 phones have the same starting price as last year’s models.

Samsung needed about a week to release an update in Korea. A few days later, the GOS fix was in place in Europe. But then we discovered the throttling issue was a bigger scandal than we thought. Samsung had to apologize to shareholders for the Galaxy S22 performance issues. The company also noted that the GOS throttling wasn’t the result of cost-reduction policies.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in white, with stylus. Image source: Samsung

The Galaxy S22 price cuts

A report from The Korea Times mentioned the Galaxy S22 price cuts in relation to the throttling scandal. Samsung hasn’t outright reduced the starting prices for the three Galaxy S22 flavors. Instead, it’s local carriers that are offering significantly higher subsidies than before.

KT and LG Uplus are two local operators that increased the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus subsidies by up to 500,000 won ($410). They went to 500,000 in subsidies for the Galaxy S22 Ultra last month. Users still have to subscribe to cellular plans of over 85,000 won ($70) per month to take advantage of the higher Galaxy S22 price cuts.

The subsidies and minimum monthly fee might vary from carrier to carrier. But the report notes that the subsidies have more than tripled from the previous 150,000 won ($123) discounts that carriers offered initially.

“The amount of subsidies that will be provided is something that our company and mobile carriers decided together after a consultation,” a Samsung spokesman told the site. The person also said that the entire market is in a difficult situation, and the increased subsidies were put in place on April 1st.

Discounts on new Android phones aren’t surprising

It’s normal for the latest Galaxy S phone to lose value quickly after the first months of sales. That’s why we told you not to buy the Galaxy S20 a couple of years ago when Samsung’s pricing structure started at $999. The $799 Galaxy S22 seemed like a great deal during preorders before the GOS scandal.

But it quickly became clear that it might be a good idea to avoid the Galaxy S22 for the time being. Even when it gets a price cut.

Samsung has not confirmed that the GOS controversy forced it to cut the Galaxy S22’s price in its home market. But the discounts are in place in the region. This indicates that Samsung felt the need to offer bigger incentives to buyers following the performance scandal.

It’s unclear whether Samsung will adopt similar strategies in other markets. Again, you can’t save up to $410 on the Galaxy S22 in Korea by paying full price for the handset. You have to agree to a new contract with your carrier to get the savings. But if you haven’t purchased the Galaxy S22 of your dreams, it might be a good idea to wait a while longer for a much better deal.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he's not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.