View Full Version : Apple Cleared to Sell iPhone in South Korea

Sep 23, 2009, 09:26 AM
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The Wall Street Journal reports (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125367616595333125.html) that Apple has received governmental approval to sell the iPhone in South Korea. The move appears to mark a substantial opening of one of the most closed mobile phone markets in the world.The commission's action comes after months of consumer pressure. For much of this year, the commission's reason for blocking the iPhone was that its built-in mapping capabilities violate a South Korean rule requiring the use of domestic technology for location-based services in cellphones. In its decision Wednesday, the commission created an exemption in the rule for iPhone.

"This is a big strike for the government in saying that this is an open market," said Chung Yun-ho, managing partner of Veyond Partners, a telecom consulting firm in Seoul. "Many people regard Korea as an advanced telecom market but they are acknowledging that we are lagging behind in smartphones. They wanted to pressure the telecom companies to embrace new things."An Apple job posting (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2008/07/17/apple-getting-closer-to-launching-iphone-in-south-korea/) in July 2008 suggested that Apple was looking to launch the iPhone in South Korea, although it has clearly taken considerable time for the company to work through various regulatory obstacles there to gain approval. Last month, claims (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/08/07/kt-to-offer-iphone-in-south-korea/) of a deal with wireless carrier KT again sparked interest in the market. KT, however, has backed away from that statement, noting only that it continues to be in talks with Apple.

Article Link: Apple Cleared to Sell iPhone in South Korea (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2009/09/23/apple-cleared-to-sell-iphone-in-south-korea/)

Sep 23, 2009, 02:10 PM
I wonder how much of that 40 million market share Apple will put a dent into the first year? :cool:

Sep 23, 2009, 04:06 PM
I thought South Korea was CDMA only.

Sep 24, 2009, 03:54 AM
I thought South Korea was CDMA only.

A large percentage of their coverage is CDMA (though not the same variety as we've got on Verizon etc)...but recently, WCDMA (aka HSPA [3G services on GSM providers]) has become available there.

Sep 24, 2009, 03:56 AM
This is definitely good news. Korea is a very closed market. Glad to see it opening up a bit.

Sep 24, 2009, 08:13 PM
And I thought South Korea is country nice.

Sep 25, 2009, 04:10 PM

Not sure if it's correct to say South Korea is the most closed country in terms of cell phones. Motorola used to OWN the market when cell phones first entered ROK. Than Samsung and LG came out with their phones and slowly won over the market. Nokia basically pulled out because they just weren't selling enough. They were not locked out of the country. Same story with motorola.

Sep 26, 2009, 09:15 AM
wow, this sounds like a big deal. i guess they think the iphone is just that good

Sep 26, 2009, 11:07 PM
Will safari be able to run in South Korea. I thought internet explorer was explicitly necessary to do anything considered web browsing (i.e. plugins, etc.)?