Samsung Galaxy S5 released early in Korea, despite insistence that it wouldn’t

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is now available in South Korea, even though the company's head of mobile, JK Shin, claimed yesterday that it wouldn't be.

Shin told reporters that the phone would be released in Korea on 11 April, the same date as the rest of the world. However, SK Telecom has started to sell the Galaxy S5 to its customers ahead of a state imposed ban on the carrier's activities.

SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus Corp are each either undergoing or facing suspension of business, as required by an order by the South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. The networks are charged with offering excessive smartphone subsidies, so they face periods of suspensions between 13 March and 19 May.

READ: Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy S5 review

SK Telecom's ban starts on 5 April, which restricts the sale of handsets to customers, hence its urgency to defy Samsung and release the Galaxy S5 early.

Samsung is none too happy. "We are very puzzled. SK Telecom strongly asked for an earlier release of the product but we delivered our stance that the global release date of 11 April remains unchanged," it said in a statement.

SK Telecom remains unfazed however. "We decided to release the product for a wider consumer choice of handsets before our operation suspension begins on 5 April," it explained.