SK Telecom moves into portable audio devices

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SK Telecom moves into portable audio devices

SK Telecom initiated a partnership with a local audio device manufacturer for joint production yesterday, as the Korea’s largest mobile carrier makes inroads into the audio business.

SK Telecom and Anam Electronics signed an MOU for the cooperation in the production and distribution of portable WiFi audio players, SK Telecom said. Anam is an original development manufacturing (ODM) maker for global audio player brands such as Yamaha, JVC and Denon.

SK Telecom said the MOU is aimed at producing a “substantial outcome” in the portable high-quality WiFi audio market. It said the two companies have already confirmed the direction of the business.

Under the MOU, SK Telecom is in charge of planning and design while Anam is in charge of hardware manufacturing and after-sales services, SK Telecom said.

“We are happy that we have been able to trail-blaze a new market together with Anam Electronics, which is providing audio devices to global device makers,” said Yook Tae-sun, head of the new business division of SK Telecom.

SK Telecom said the MOU, its first with an audio device maker, will be “a stepping-stone for expanding into the audio business in the future.” That supported a previous rumor that it wants to buy iRiver, a Korean audio gadget maker that once was the world’s No. 1 MP3 player manufacturer.

SK Telecom denied it. “Even with our deal with Anam, we are not taking over the company,” said an official of the company. “It is more like we are adding an ‘appsessory’ line to our business.”

The details of the products to be developed were not revealed, but the SK Telecom official said they will likely be used with apps.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]




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