iPhone X to hit shelves nationwide on Nov. 24

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iPhone X to hit shelves nationwide on Nov. 24

The iPhone X will arrive in Korea on Nov. 24, Apple revealed Wednesday. The announcement came as a welcome surprise to Apple enthusiasts, many of whom had not expected the phone to launch here until 2018.

Preorders for the 10th anniversary Apple phone will open on Nov. 17 through three mobile carriers - SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

“iPhone X will arrive in 13 additional countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as Macau on Nov. 24,” said Apple in a release on Wednesday. As well as Korea and Macau, the phone will be released in Albania, Bosnia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malaysia, Montenegro, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.

Mobile carriers have yet to decide on the retail prices for the iPhone X, pronounced 10. According to Apple Korea last week, the 5.8-inch phone’s price is set at 1.42 million won ($1,280) for a standard 64-gigabyte model and 1.63 million won for a 256GB model. Those prices are for an unlocked version of the phone, however, and the prices from carriers may differ.

The iPhone X, equipped with a 5.8-inch Super Retina display, augmented reality and immersive 3D gaming, is set to be released just three weeks after the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 8 and 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus. The iPhone X comes in two colors - silver and space grey. iPhone 8 preorders kicked off on Oct. 27 and started shipping on Nov. 3 in Korea. Apple started taking orders for the iPhone X on Oct. 27 in the United States and other key markets.

Both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 were unveiled at an Apple event on Sept. 12.

Speculation was high that the iPhone X’s release could be delayed to as late as early next year as Apple struggles to get important components for the OLED display that Apple has adopted for the iPhone for the first time. The advanced release date means the American tech giant has resolved the supply problem earlier than expected. During Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call on Nov. 2, CEO Tim Cook alluded to the resolution, saying, “Really happy we’re able to increase week-by-week outputs. Going to get as many of them as possible to customers as soon possible.”

Apple has not yet released any iPhone X sales figures. Cook only said its demand is “off the charts.” On the other hand, orders for iPhone 8 models appear to be weaker than expected both in Korea and other markets. In the first week of release, new mobile subscriptions for the iPhone 8 totaled only 140,000, according to mobile carriers, which is just 70 percent of the preceding iPhone 7 series. Reports from some consumers that the iPhone 8 has split due to a swelling battery inside raised safety concerns over the new phones among prospective buyers.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]
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