Mobile operators halve Galaxy S22 price in South Korea after regulatory issues emerge

Hot potato: Samsung recently came under fire for overcharging the Galaxy S22 series, which lowers temperatures in thousands of popular apps, but not during tests. The series is now heavily discounted in South Korea, where the outrage was greatest.

Samsung has included the Game Optimization Service (GOS) in its phones since 2016. It proactively reduces the load on the SoC in games, as well as in applications such as Netflix and Spotify, to prevent overheating and extend battery life. All phones have power management software for a similar purpose, but the GOS tries to hide itself by only running apps on a pre-written list.

Previous Galaxy S devices had better cooling than the S22, making the GOS less noticeable. But Geekbench found that GOS slowed it down by as much as 46%. It was decided to exclude the S22, S21, S20 and S10 from their rankings and later also ban the Galaxy Tab S8.

Last month, Samsung CEO of Devices Chung Hee Han apologized for the situation at Samsung’s 54th Annual Shareholders Meeting, and said the company will never sacrifice the quality of its devices to cut costs.

While the Galaxy S10 series and older models used vapor chambers for cooling, subsequent members of the Galaxy S series used graphite pads as heat spreaders. However, the S22 Ultra has a new vapor chamber, indicating that Samsung knew the S22’s cooling wasn’t perfect.

Samsung has reportedly decided to ditch the base S22’s vapor chamber to cut costs, with GOS being accused of being a temporary fix. But instead of boosting the device’s margins, the sketchy strategy resulted in a lower retail price in South Korea. Reuters reports.

According to the publication, South Korea’s three major carriers have almost halved the phone’s initial purchase price as part of their deals. It was launched by carriers for 999,000 won ($812), but has now been reduced to 549,000 won ($446).

Analysts say the discount is likely paid by Samsung itself. They predict that the company’s reputation may suffer in the long run.

The iPhone 13, which has been on the market for five months longer than the S22, has only been subject to a 150,000 won ($122) discount from time to time. Apple’s share of the $400+ market in South Korea recently rose to 60%, while Samsung’s share has fallen from 20% to 17% over the past year.

Samsung is also currently battling a class action lawsuit signed by nearly 2,000 of its customers seeking compensation for allegedly misleading advertising. Since then, Samsung has added a switch to disable GOS, but with it disabled, the S22 is prone to overheating and can reduce battery life.

Image credit: Zana Lateef

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