Samsung plays down problem with Galaxy S5 camera

Samsung played down the scale of a problem with the camera on the Galaxy S5, stating only a limited number of the smartphones are affected by the flaw that completely shuts down the camera module.

samsung galaxy s5

Samsung's Galaxy S5 smartphone

The South Korean consumer electronics maker said it found a problem in the read only memory (ROM) element that carries the data needed to operate the camera. The problem affected a small number of devices in an early production run, and the company has acted to ensure future shipments of its new flagship smartphone are not affected, Reuters reported at the weekend.

While the bulk of problems have been reported by consumers in the U.S., a Samsung spokeswoman told Reuters the flaw has also been flagged in a handful of other countries. Users should contact Samsung's customer service teams or their mobile carriers if they have problems, the spokeswoman added.

Samsung responded after reports the camera on some S5 units had failed less than a fortnight after the device's global launch on April 11. The problem also affects applications that use the camera.

The reports of failures are a blow to Samsung, which focused heavily on the camera features of the S5 at a launch event for the device at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in February.

At the time, the company noted the 16 megapixel camera is the first in a smartphone to offer professional-grade photography features including the ability to blur backgrounds and automatically correct colours. Samsung said the camera also has the fastest auto-focus of any smartphone, at 0.3 seconds.

Samsung, which is currently the world's leading smartphone vendor, warned in early April that profits in the first calendar quarter of 2014 are likely to be down on the same period of 2013. If accurate, it will be the second straight quarter of declines, Reuters noted.

The South Korean vendor is due to release its results on Tuesday, April 29.

Separately, Samsung is gearing up for a major marketing push in Europe to grow sales in the region, and is planning to reveal new products at the IFA trade fair in Germany in September, the Korea Times reported.

In January, the vendor announced a deal with European retailer Carphone Warehouse that will see the latter operate at least 60 standalone Samsung stores in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see Samsung's earnings guidance
- see this Korea Times article

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