By Bahk Eun-ji

The curvy Galaxy S6 Edge grabbed greater attention from customers as Samsung Electronics started selling its new flagship models Friday in 20 countries, including Korea

Customers were told by dealers to wait for about a week for the Galaxy S6 Edge with both sides of the screen curved, which is the industry’s first trial.

The curved screen provides a wider view and unique sense of design.

“I feel like the image is floating in midair when I watch video on this phone. The double-edged screen is unique and I decided to buy the one,” said Choi Sung-jin, a 39-year-old office worker

Choi said he used to use the Galaxy S3 model and subscribed to the S6 Edge.

Samsung, which started shipment of its much-awaited high-end flagships, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, hopes the new smartphones will attract back customers lost to Apple’s iPhone 6

Some iPhone users also made inquires about switching to the new model.

Kim Ah-reum, 27, a bank teller working in Myung-dong, said she is seriously considering changing her iPhone 5S model to the S6 Edge.

“I’m a huge fan of Apple’s iPhone series since I was a college student, but I have to admit that I was seriously tempted to the model the moment I saw it,” Kim said.

She said she just dropped by a dealership near her office at lunch time and became fascinated by the Edge’s design and bright gold color

“But I’m a bit hesitant about a different operating system from Apple’s iOS. Besides, I think the S6 series is too expensive for me,” she said.

For many customers, the new Galaxy series are attractive enough, but the price was an issue.

Kim Ji-hwan, a 21-year-old college student said he has been using Samsung’s Galaxy series, but he said he is not going to buy the new model right away, even though he likes it.

“I think I have to wait for a few weeks or months until the amount of subsidies get larger or something. In fact, many smartphones these days are not so different in terms of their functions and specifications,” Kim said.

Industry watchers expect the sales of both the S6 and the Edge will reach 50 million. In response to such estimates, the nation’s brokerage, NH Securities, revised up Samsung’s operating profit outlook for the second quarter to 88 billion won, up 16.2 percent from the first quarter

Subsidies up to 210,000 won

The nation’s three mobile carriers ?SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus ?also began to aggressively market to attract customers by offering giveaways and subsidies. KT provides 210,000 won subsides for the two models, which is the highest amount among three carriers. SKT and LG Uplus provide 130,000 won and 140,000 won respectively, for the S6 32 gigabyte model.

Dealership owners were mixed about the sales outlook for the new flagship models, as the amount of subsidies is lower than expected.

“Since the new mobile act took effect, mobile carriers provide a minimum amount of subsidies. Customers consequently became reluctant to purchase them, as it is a high-end model,” said Park Kyung-bum, a 35-year-old dealership owner in Myung-dong.

The factory price of the S6 32 GB model is 858,000 won, and 924,000 won for the 64 GB model.

“I would say the customers’ reaction to the S6 series is pretty lsquocalm’ as of the first day of its launch,” Park said.

SOURCE: The Korea Times