KT to Offer iPhone in South Korea

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Telecoms Korea reports (via MacNN) that Korean wireless carrier KT has confirmed that it will be carrying the iPhone in that country, although pricing and timing for the launch have yet to be revealed.
    The report also notes that SK Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless provides, has also claimed to be in talks to offer the iPhone, although there are no signs yet of an impending deal.

    Rumors of an iPhone launch in South Korea took hold last year after an Apple job posting suggested the possibility. At the time, it was noted that negotiations were stumbling over a national requirement that all phones in the country utilize Korea's Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability (WIPI). MacNN notes, however, that the requirement was lifted late last year, opening the door for Apple to seriously consider launching the iPhone there.

    Article Link: KT to Offer iPhone in South Korea
  2. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
  3. jholzner macrumors 65816


    Jul 24, 2002
    Champaign, IL
    I think you are thinking of North Korea.
  4. miggitymac macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    The Dean at SF State is doing the Picard facepalm at this.:p
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    CDMA or on W-CDMA(UMTS)

    Most of the South Korea carriers are on CDMA like Verizon/Sprint. They've rolled out 3G ( W-CDMA ) but that's the only "gsm like" network in wide use network there. Perhaps the phone wouldn't be hobbled if only worked where 3G was available since 3G is so pervasive in South Korea.
  6. Qanbar macrumors member


    Jul 4, 2009
    I am in south Korea working in a few months/weeks and was wondering will I be able to buy a native sim for my iPhone 3gs or is my only option to change my imei? Yes I know it's illegal but I'm not stealing phones just trying to get phone to work.
    Is there any other way as my roaming charges are silly with o2 uk.
  7. s4yunkim macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2009
    Dont hold your breath

    So this is the same story that we in South Korea have been hearing for the past 2 years. There have been many many "release dates" and "release plan announcements" etc, and yet Koreans don't seem jaded yet. I sometimes wonder if the mobile service providers do it on purpose to get a laugh out of it.

    Korea's got a full blown 3g (WCDMA) network. This means that if you have a 3G capable phone, you can just pop in a USIM card and go. Contrary to belief, USIM cards are pretty much identical to SIM cards. So it's technically possible for any 3g phone, including the iPhone, to work here on their networks.
    I know this because I brought my iPhone 3gs here, and it logged right onto the SK Telecom network and let me roam off AT&T (at a low low price of $2.29 US/min) /sarcasm.

    The problem is, Korean telecoms are terrified of foreign competition. The myth that Korean phones are years ahead of western phones is crap. They release a new phone here every month, each one supported by the celebrity of the day, but it's essentially the same phone. Buying a phone that does something as simple as playing MP3s is a pain in the ass, as you are required to convert each song (one by one, the software doesnt allow for mass conversion) to a "MelOn phone compatible format" before you are allowed to listen to it. I've yet to see a Korean phone that renders a webpage like the iPhone does. I've yet to see a Korean phone with a touch screen even remotely comparable to the iPhone, G1, etc.

    If Koreans were allowed access to iPhones, blackberries, Nokias.... Samsung, LG, SKY, would lose wayyy to much business.

    So the solution? Cheat, rather than innovate and beat the competition. South Korea has created an IMEI whitelist. Any phone that wasn't sold in Korea (ie. any phone that isn't Samsung, LG, SKY, etc) isn't allowed to get service in Korea. That way you can peddle the same POS phone to the masses, and claim it's the best that's out there.

    When I put my SK Telecom USIM card into my unlocked iPhone, it gets connected to the SK Telecom network, gets a full 5 bars and everything, for about 10 seconds (which I assume the network is checking my IMEI). Then it kicks me off and says "no service". The same thing happens for other phones I've tried as well.

    So the only thing barring Apple, or any foreign mobile phone companies from selling in Korea, are the mobile carriers here. Take a walk down any street in this land of "advanced technology", and you'll notice that there are cell phone shops every 10 meters. Literally. And in each one, is a sneaky salesman trying to rip you off for all the money they can get. It's even worse if you are a foreigner. Google for cases of these things happening if you dont believe me.

    The crazy thing is, technologically aware Koreans are actually desperate for "foreign" cell phones, ones from the US, Europe, etc. A few days ago there was an "official announcement" that SK Telecom was going to allow foreign IMEIs on their network, and all you had to do was stop by and register your device. People on the internet got all excited for the umpteeth time, until they found out that it was a rumor. Funny huh? I wouldn't be surprised if higher ups at SK Telecom were actually planting rumors just for laughs. Hell, I'd laugh.

    Anyway, that's the case with iPhones in Korea. Two years of naive Koreans jumping on every rumored announcement of the iPhone in Korea, and two years of equally hurtful disappointment.

    And you all thought AT&T was bad.
  8. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    I have to heartily agree with this. Korean mobile phones may have better cameras and a few internet features which the iPhone lacks (real internet banking), but overall, the system is poor, the phones are not easy to use and new phones with nothing new at all come out all the time.

    Also, an all plastic nasty phone costs up to 700$. There is no way people from outside of Korea should look at its market longingly. It is closed, poorly implemented and has shoddy mobiles.

    If the iPhone ever makes it here, it will be with the typical Apple mark up (in Korea, apple products are marked up at least 30%, likely 50%) and sometimes sold by resellers as the current product, when in fact they sell the older version.
  9. andy1306 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    I can't agree more. Especially with the "MELON" thing. When i bought my Motorola and tried to listen to my downloaded mp3 songs, well nothing happened. Then I found out the MELON-Drama. In the advertising of the phone it was written "MP3-Player". I felt cheated. (Which is pretty normal for a foreigner living in Korea). :rolleyes:

    btw, did u changed ur emei number and get your iphone working ?
  10. andy1306 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009
    The IPHONE 3G is listed at www.enuri.com. Althought no price or release date is announced. My guess the release of the IPHONE will be september/october after Samsung release their T-Omnia II AMOLED smartphone here in Korea. Just being "ahead" to the iphone release.

    ***** MAGIC KOREA *******:D
  11. andy1306 macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2009

    South Korea's telecom regulator said Tuesday it will make a final decision this week on whether to approve the launching of iPhone services in the country.

    Apple has been in talks with KT, South Korea's No. 2 mobile service provider, which was aiming to win an exclusive right to sell the worldwide-hit iPhone on the local market.

    However, bringing the iPhone to South Korea has been a slow process as South Korean law does not allow smartphones with location-base services (LBS), such as "Google Map" and "Find my iPhone." The Korea Communications Committee said it will decide on the issue at the standing committee's Wednesday meeting.

    "We will try our best to permit the iPhone within the limits of the law," a high-ranking offiicial at the committee said. "However, we are not sure of the result as there are different opinions within the committee."

    KT officials, meanwhile, said they plan to sell iPhones in the country next month, if Apple wins final approval from the regulator.


    Finally ???

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