Apple iPhone set for Korea foray on Saturday, via KT Corp

November 27, 2009, By Sanjeev Ramachandran


Korea will get its first Apple iPhone in just a matter of a few hours from now. As you know, the iPhone was announced last week in Korea and is set to arrive on Saturday. The amazing part  of the story is that around 40,000 people placed pre-orders for it as of today.

The arrival of the Apple iPhone marks the end of a long wait as the Korean government had brought up trade barriers on smart phones in the nation’s bid to protect domestic manufacturers and carriers. Now that hurdles have faded off, the Apple iPhone is ready for the Korean jaunt that begins Saturday.

Though observers say that the amount of hype in Korea for the iPhone is not match for the extraordinary response it got as soon the phone was announced in various other nations, it has managed to shake up big names that already rule over the phone market in this part of the world. Samsung Electronics, the largest seller of phones in Korea, has announced that it is slicing prices of its latest, expensive Omnia2 model. Everyone knows the Omnia2 falls in almost the same bracket of the iPhone  and sports a touch-screen model akin to the Apple iPhone. Samsung and LG Electronics together sell close to 90 per cent of the phones in Korea. Apple iPhone’s entry is sure to create ripples. And, interestingly enough, the grapevine tells us that the Korean media has gone ahead and started publishing criticisms that downgrade Apple and the iPhone alleging bad quality and even worse after sales services.

Whatever be the scene, Apple’s iPhone will debut on the KT Corp network starting Saturday. KT is, in fact, offering three iPhone models under monthly usage plans with charges ranging from 45,000 won to 95,000 won (in the $40 to $80 range in dollar terms). And what’s more, the iPhone’s price ranges from $342 to nil, depending on the plan a customer opts for. Opposition aside, customers seem to be looking forward to Saturday.

(Via WSJ)

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