​Samsung targets 1 million pre-orders for Galaxy S8 in Korea

Samsung Electronics has sold 728,000 Galaxy S8s in pre-orders so far and is confident to hit a million before official sales begin on April 21.

Samsung Electronics is targeting 1 million pre-orders for the new Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus before official sales begin April 21, senior executives of the company said.

In a press conference in Seoul, Mobile boss DJ Koh said the company has sold 728,000 units of the new phones up to Thursday and is confident to sell a million before official sales begin next week.

The company sold 620,000 units up to Wednesday and sold 550,000 over the weekend, the highest ever for a smartphone in Korea.

"The sales are better than our initial estimates and better than the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge last year," Koh told reporters.

He didn't reveal precise figures for the US but said it was much higher than in Korea and better than the Galaxy S7 last year.

The Galaxy S8 Plus 128GB model -- which comes with 6GB RAM in Korea and China -- has proven the most popular, initial stock for which has run out in the pre-order sales.

Koh said upping specs to 6GM RAM and 128GB memory was not difficult technologically, but there were logistics considerations and demand calculations to take into account. "Certain countries had higher demand for upped memory products. We thought hard and long and decided to launch them in countries that have more early adaptors and techies," he said.

Like in the US, the company's new virtual assistant Bixby will not be deployed with launch of the phones in Korea, but will start May 1. "In other countries, we don't expect to launch them too late [and] will deploy them in each language two months after the phones start sales," he said.

On the brand damage following the Galaxy Note 7 last year, the mobile boss said its full disclosure of what the company has done since then has seemingly helped it earn consumer faith again.

"We've tested 100,000 Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus [units] for battery safety prior to launch," he added.

Samsung made an "internal decision" on selling refurbished Galaxy Note 7s but the president said the company will provide more details later. "It is not an easy process. Different countries and their regulators have different policies on selling refurbished products. We will make sure we come out with a solution that our government partners and NGOs can be satisfied with," he said.

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