The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will launch in South Africa on 5 May 2017, said the head of mobile at Samsung Electronics South Africa, Craige Fleischer.
Fleischer said the recommended retail price of the Samsung Galaxy S8 in South Africa will be R15,499, while the Galaxy S8+ will go for R17,499.
The main reason prices are higher than what the Galaxy S7 sold for last year is the improvement in hardware specifications, said Fleischer.
Since there is no “flat” Galaxy S8, the 5.8-inch S8 is closer to the S7 Edge than the “regular” S7. The Galaxy S8 has roughly the same launch price the Galaxy S7 Edge had in 2016.
Another factor is the rand-US dollar exchange rate. Even at the current prices, Samsung is taking a chance on the rand, he said.
All local mobile operators are set to carry the devices and will receive the models based on Samsung’s Exynos chip.
Deciding not to include South Africa in the launch wave is a departure from the norm, and Fleischer said it was a conscious decision on his part.
While they would love to allow South Africans to be among the first in the world to buy the Samsung Galaxy S8, Fleischer said they had to balance consumer demands with business realities.
Data from the March/April launches of previous years suggests that sales are slow over the Easter period through to Worker’s Day on 1 May.
This causes a problem for distributors and retailers who have to hold onto stock for people who have reserved devices, but only collect them after the public holidays.
Stores can’t get more stock because their line of credit and insurance is maxed out, and they can’t sell the stock they have because it is reserved for clients.
Delaying the local launch until 5 May also lets Samsung ensure that stock is distributed throughout South Africa with all its dealer partners.
Pre-registrations and pre-order bonuses
Pre-registrations and pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S8 range will open from 30 March through operator and retail partners, as well as Samsung’s website.
Clients who pre-order will receive a “starter kit”, said Fleischer.
Vodacom subscribers will receive a wireless charger, a screen guard, and a clear back cover.
Customers on MTN will get a battery pack, a screen guard, and clear back cover.
Pre-orders through the smaller operators will get Samsung’s new convertible wireless charger.