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(LEAD) Galaxy S9 preorders similar to or slightly lower than predecessor

All Headlines 16:46 March 05, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout with details)

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- Preorders for Samsung Electronics Co.'s Galaxy S9 smartphone, which was showcased last week, are about the same as those of its predecessor or slightly lower, industry sources said Monday.

"We believe that the preorders for the Galaxy S9 are similar to that of the Galaxy S8," an official from Samsung Electronics said. The official claimed, however, that the figure could be lower because the company only started receiving orders two days after the phone's unveiling in Spain, whereas there was a gap of eight days for its predecessor.

Officials from local mobile carriers said customers are apparently less enthusiastic about Samsung's latest flagship.

"Customers may be finding the Galaxy S9 not much different from other smartphones," an insider from a local mobile carrier said. "The popularity and customers' interest are not as high compared to the previous model."

Another market watcher said a growing number of people are holding onto their smartphones longer, which is affecting the industry as a whole.

Samsung Electronics has refrained from releasing preorder numbers for the Galaxy S9. As for the Galaxy S8, preorders reached 550,000 units in just two days. This was the highest figure tallied since 2013, when Samsung first adopted the preorder program.

Preorders for the Galaxy S7 series came to 200,000 units in the first week.

The South Korean tech giant instead said its product promotion centers across the country had attracted 1.6 million visitors so far.

The 5.8-inch Galaxy S9 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S9 Plus stand out from previous models, as their cameras have a variable aperture that can switch between F1.5 and F2.4. They come with a super-speed dual pixel image sensor that can shoot 960 frames per second. The phones can also create customized emojis with selfies and share them via various mobile messenger programs.

The devices will officially hit shelves March 16 in major countries and gradually expand to other markets down the road.

Visitors test the Galaxy S9 smartphone's camera at a Galaxy Studio in Seoul in this photo released by Samsung Electronics Co. on March 5, 2018. (Yonhap)


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