JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - PhoneRPT attended a late launch event for the Samsung Galaxy S III, and the company revealed that it has already sold out in South Africa.
Further, Samsung South Africa Managing Director Deon Liebenberg estimated that there were approximately 50 000 pre-orders for the device, a large number for an African country where the handset will be not affordable to most of the population.
South Africa will be one of first seven countries to have Video Hub access, bringing HD movie rental for just R10 (just above US$ 1 and around EUR 1).
The Samsung Galaxy S III sells for a recommended price of R7 999 (US$ 962 or EUR 764) on pre-paid, and local network Vodacom has it for R299/month (US$ 36 or EUR 29) on a 24-month contract, with the MTN, Cell C and 8ta prices not available as yet, but stock has been delivered to the latter network operators.
The show counted with the participation of South African personality Jo-Ann Strauss, popular local singer Danny K and more celebrities. The event is open for members of the public to attend at the Sandton Convention Centre. At the time of the publication the hashtag for the device (#SamsungS3) is trending in South Africa, showing the potential success of the device in the country.
At the end of the press briefing, Samsung's Dr Michelle Potgieter, head of Corporate Marketing and Communications, said that "the only thing that the Galaxy S III doesn't do is coffee", and to complete that, a coffee machine was unexpectedly distributed to each member of the media.
The flagship smartphone features a 4.8" touchscreen display with HD resolution (720 x 1280 pixels) based on the Super AMOLED HD technology and protected by Gorilla Glass 2; a quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor built by Samsung itself, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, an 8 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash that allows for full HD recording while capturing images at the same time, A-GPS and GLONASS, microSD memory card support, and every other feature available on competing high-end devices, making it one of the most powerful smartphones in the market and effectively eclipsing its rival iPhone 4S, but in line with the HTC One X.
In North America and Japan, the Samsung Galaxy S III will be available to some networks with just a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, but 2GB of RAM and the additional LTE (4G) transmitter.
An unnamed Samsung spokesperson later suggested to PhoneRPT that the device has been labelled out-of-stock in order to increase the hype, unsurprisingly. Regardless, Potgieter promised a full-year intense marketing campaign that will include presence in shopping malls, for example.