New iPhones offered by 3 carriers, presales start

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New iPhones offered by 3 carriers, presales start

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Local mobile carriers will begin presales of the newest iPhones today, with prices as high as 1.97 million won ($1,730).

Korea’s three mobile carriers ― SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ ― released the prices for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR on Thursday ahead of the official launch of the devices in Korea on Nov. 2.

The most expensive of the trio is the iPhone XS Max, an upgrade of last year’s iPhone X. It comes with a 6.5-inch display, the largest screen Apple has ever used in a smartphone. The phone costs as much as 1,969,000 won for the version with 512 gigabytes (GB) of internal storage. Two other storage capacities are offered: 64GB and 256GB. The cheapest 64GB model costs over 1.5 million won.

An iPhone XS with a smaller screen is priced from 1,364,000 won to 1,815,000 won depending on storage.

The last of the three, the iPhone XR, is priced at 990,000 won for the cheapest 64GB version. The 128GB version costs 1,056,000 won, and the 256GB model costs 1,188,000 won.

To attract customers interested in the phones but are not yet ready to pay all at once, the mobile carriers also introduced phone rental programs. Phone rental has become a trend in Korea as the time between new generations hitting the market has become extremely short.

According to SK Telecom, consumers renting the iPhone XS Max 512GB for 24 months through its T Rental program would spend 372,000 won less than if they purchased the phone outright. KT and partner Lotte Rental said users can save as much as 600,000 won under their two-year rental program for the iPhone XS Max 512GB. KT said it factored in the second-hand sales price of the phone when calculating total cost.

KT is also taking preorders for the Apple Watch series 4, the only carrier to do so. According to a KT spokesperson, the watch is being offered on a limited basis by Apple, but the company was able to source enough of them to go ahead with presales.

The watch is priced from 605,000 won to 869,000 won.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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