iPhone sales fall short of expectations

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iPhone sales fall short of expectations

Sales of Apple’s iPhone 5 in Korea have fallen short of market expectations largely because of its belated debut in the country, industry sources said yesterday.

As of Friday, about 400,000 units of Apple’s latest gadget were sold in the Korean market, well below an earlier estimate of up to two million, according to the sources.

On Dec. 7, SK Telecom and KT, the country’s two biggest mobile carriers, kicked off the release of the first iPhone that runs on the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) network after beginning preorders a week earlier.

The initial sales figure for the iPhone 5 lags far behind rivals, including Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note 2, the sources said. Sales of the Galaxy Note 2 have reached a cumulative 1.15 million units since its rollout in late September.

Market watchers attributed the iPhone 5’s lackluster sales number mainly to its belated launch in Korea. Sales of the gadget in overseas markets started about three months earlier.

While Apple rolled out the latest iPhone on its home turf in late September, its Korea release was delayed due to company policy and procedural errors in registering the device with the local communications watchdog.

The iPhone 5 launch in Korea came amid escalating competition between Samsung and Apple, the world’s two biggest smartphone makers, to gain supremacy in the lucrative global smartphone market. The two companies have also been squaring off in courtrooms across four continents.

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