Mobile carriers cut price of Galaxy S22 in South Korea in half after limitation issues surface

A hot potato: Samsung recently came under fire for over-promising with its performance figures for the Galaxy S22 series, which puts thermal limits on thousands of popular apps, but not in benchmarks. The series is now heavily discounted in South Korea, where the outcry was greatest.

Samsung has had the Game Optimizing Service (GOS) on its phones since 2016. It preemptively reduces the SoC workload in games, as well as in apps like Netflix and Spotify to prevent overheating and extend battery life. All phones have power management software with a similar purpose, but GOS tries to hide itself by only activating while apps are running on a pre-written list.

Previous Galaxy S devices have had better cooling than the S22, which makes GOS less noticeable. But Geekbench has found that GOS limited it by a whopping 46%. It decided to ban the S22, S21, S20 and S10 from its benchmark ranking and later also the Galaxy Tab S8.

Last month, Samsung’s device experience CEO Jong-Hee Han apologized for the situation at Samsung’s 54th Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, saying the company would never sacrifice the quality of its devices to cut costs.

While the Galaxy S10 series and older models used vapor chambers for cooling, later newcomers to the Galaxy S series have used graphite pads to act as heat spreaders. However, the S22 Ultra has a new vapor chamber, indicating that Samsung was aware that the cooling of the S22 was not ideal.

Samsung has reportedly opted to forgo the vapor chamber of the base model S22 to cut costs and GOS has been accused of being a band-aid. But instead of boosting the device’s profit margins, the sketchy strategy has pushed the selling price in South Korea down, Reuters reports.

According to the point of sale, South Korea’s three major carriers have nearly halved the handset’s initial price when bought as part of their deals. It was launched by the airlines for 999,000 won ($812 USD), but is now discounted to just 549,000 won ($446).

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

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

Samsung is also now battling a class action lawsuit signed by nearly 2,000 of its customers seeking compensation for the alleged misleading ads. Samsung has since added a switch to turn off GOS, but if it’s turned off, the S22 is prone to overheating and may have shorter battery life.

Image Credit: Zana Latif

New Technology Era

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