중앙데일리

iPhones on sale, smartphone competition to rise

Nov 28,2009
KT Corp., which will begin offering Apple Inc.’s popular iPhones in Korea today, said advance orders for the handsets exceeded 50,000 as of Thursday.

“We are very excited,” Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at the Seongnam, Korea-based KT, said yesterday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “If you look at the trend globally, the smartphone is becoming bigger and bigger.”

Yang declined to give a sales target for the iPhone.

Apple will compete in a market where Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech Co. have more than a 90 percent share.

Additionally, more than nine out of 10 people already own a mobile phone.

The iPhone may help boost sales of smartphones - which allow users to surf the Web and compose e-mail messages - and increase wireless Internet usage in Korea, Yang Jong-in, an analyst at Korea Investment & Securities Co., wrote in a report that was issued this week.

KT, Korea’s largest phone and Internet company, is the first operator to sell the iPhone in the country and has been accepting advance reservations since Nov. 22.

The 32-gigabyte iPhone 3G S will cost as little as 132,000 won ($114) when purchased on a 24-month payment plan, according to KT, which is also introducing the 16-gigabyte 3G S and the 8-gigabyte 3G models.

Korea is the only country other than Iceland among the 30 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that hadn’t yet introduced the iPhone, which is available in about 80 countries.

“There are a lot of regulations in the telecommunications industry in South Korea as in any other country, so there had to be a lot of negotiations,” Yang said.

While it’s difficult to estimate iPhone shipments in Korea, sales of smartphones will reach about 800,000 units in the country this year and increase to 6.5 million handsets in 2014, according to Hwang Seung-taek, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities Co. in Seoul.

Revenue from wireless Internet may account for more than 21 percent of total voice and data sales of Korea’s three mobile-phone operators in the three months ending Dec. 31, 2010, compared with 18.8 percent in the third quarter this year, according to Hana Daetoo’s Hwang.

“Our mid-to long-term strategy is growing the data service market,” Yang said. Bloomberg
dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장