Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Galaxy S3 More Expensive in Korea Than Abroad

Samsung Electronics' latest Galaxy S3 smartphone is more expensive in Korea than anywhere in the world except Japan, according to a consumer rights group.

Consumers Korea, which researched the price of the phone in 18 major cities around the world said Thursday that it costs W994,400 (US$1=W1,087) on average in Korea, second only to Japan where it cost W1.03 million. It is cheapest in the U.S. at W736,650, and the average price tag of W874,980 in Europe is still around W120,000 lower than here.

Samsung's Galaxy Note, effectively a larger version of the Galaxy S3, costs W933,900 in Korea, the fourth highest price.

Consumers Korea accused Samsung of exploiting its home advantage by squeezing customers.

Samsung claims the comparison is flawed because different countries have different "distribution systems" and the specifications of the phones differ slightly, according to a company spokesman.

Meanwhile, the consumer group also found that a number of other products are more expensive here than elsewhere. U.S. cosmetics brand Olay's range of moisturizers is the second most expensive in Korea out of the 18 cities surveyed, the price of L'Oréal sun cream is the second highest and of Sisley sun cream the fourth highest. Levi's 501 jeans are the second most expensive in the world behind Japan.

A spokesman for Consumers Korea said goods like wine, cosmetics and jeans are mostly overpriced because they are imported through a single channel. It called for diversification of importers and retailers.

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