Growth is off in sales of smartphones

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Growth is off in sales of smartphones

The growth rate of the local smartphone market almost halved in the first eight months of the year, a sign that the Korean mobile market is quickly saturating.

According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the mobile phone industry on Sunday, an average of 2.54 million new smartphone users registered every three months in 2012. This year, only 1.35 million smartphones were newly registered per quarter through August, a pace only 53 percent of last year’s.

The share of smartphones and mobile phones in service in Korea continued to grow, but also at a slower pace this year than last. In 2012, smartphone use rose by an average of 4.5 percentage points each quarter, but there was only a 1.9 percentage point increase from the first to the second quarter this year.

Industry observers say domestic market saturation is the culprit. According to a Strategic Analytics study released last week, 68 percent of Koreans have a smartphone.

BY KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]

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