Local smartphones beyond ubiquitousSmartphone users are likely top 30 million here soon on the back of the country’s fast-growing 4G long-term evolution (LTE) network service, industry sources said.
Sources said that country’s three mobile carriers reported a combined smartphone subscription base of 29.97 million last Friday, with an additional 5,000 or 60,000 expected to have purchased new smartphones over the weekend.
The three local mobile carriers are SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.
Market leader SK Telecom had 14.72 million users as of Friday, while KT had 9.4 million and LG U+ 5.78 million.
Korea, one of the world’s most wired - and wireless - nations, saw the number of smartphone users top 10 million in March last year and exceed the 20 million mark just seven months later.
Market insiders said the upward trend was fueled by the introduction of Apple’s iconic iPhone in late 2009.
They also said that the popularity of smartphones that run on the LTE network have given momentum to the heavily saturated market.
The super-fast communications network service, which allows people to stream movies with no lag time or download full-length movies in seconds, was launched in July last year.
The number of LTE smartphone users here reached 9.21 million as of Friday, taking up more than 30 percent of all smartphone subscribers.
This came after local mobile carriers beefed up their advertising and marketing campaigns in a bid to gain a bigger stake in the mushrooming market.