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IPad entry into Korea could be relaxed shortly

Agency plans test to ensure compatibility

Apr 28,2010
Consumers who rushed to buy Apple’s new iPad touchscreen tablet PC in the United States after its launch there several weeks ago might be able to freely bring them into Korea as soon as next month.

The Korea Communications Commission said yesterday that its Radio Research Agency will conduct a technical test on the device to ensure that it won’t disrupt the country’s networking environment. If the device passes the test, travelers and residents could then bring their iPads into Korea.

The KCC’s stance str+++ys from current Korean regulations stipulating that locals and visitors obtain certification from the agency when bringing in communications devices that haven’t yet been approved by the country for personal use. The certification is meant to ensure that the devices fit in with domestic wireless networks.

Korea’s communications watchdog said the test will take just several days, as iPads use internationally recognized connections like Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

Should Apple decide to sell the iPad in Korea, it would need separate government approval first.

The decision to conduct the technical test at this time is a bit unusual given that the iPad was just launched in the United States.

The KCC said it is moving quickly because the current customs clearance system isn’t structured to prevent the unauthorized inflow of iPads.

The agency could be bowing to external pressures from consumers as well.

On Monday, Korean Culture Minister Yu In-chon used an iPad during a government press conference, which some news reports and blogs took issue with because the device hasn’t been approved for use here yet.


By Kim Hyung-eun [hkim@joongang.co.kr]



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