Korea's second Apple Store to open in Yeouido
Apple will open its second retail shop in Korea to serve a constantly growing user base on the home turf of its rival Samsung Electronics.
The new Apple Store to open in the IFC Mall in Yeouido, western Seoul, is the second in the country, following the store in Garosu-gil, southern Seoul, that opened in 2018.
The Cupertino, California-based company announced the planned opening of the shop on its official website, though it didn’t reveal a specific date.
The news came as the smartphone maker’s latest iPhone 12 models have proved popular in Korea.
Sales of the newest models are estimated to have reached 600,000 here since their launch late last month, industry sources said Monday, almost on par with Samsung Electronics' flagship models.
Korea's three major carriers — SK Telecom, KT and LG U+ — are estimated to have sold around 500,000 iPhone 12 series models since Oct. 30, according to the sources.
Considering that unlocked models usually account for 15 to 20 percent of total iPhone sales, total iPhone 12 sales have likely reached 600,000 over the past month, the sources said.
Apple released the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro here late last month and the 12 mini and the 12 Pro Max on Nov. 20.
Sales of the iPhone 12 models are roughly 20 percent higher than the previous iPhone 11, according to the sources.
The sales record matches the best-selling smartphone lineup this year — Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S20 series — that reached 500,000 in sales from the three carriers a month after their launch in March this year. Samsung has so far sold around 2 million Galaxy S20 devices this year.
The new iPhones are Apple's first 5G-enabled smartphones.
Korea's 5G users stood at 9.25 million as of the end of September, prior to the launch of the iPhone 12 models, accounting for 13 percent of the total 70 million mobile subscriptions, government data showed.
Analysts have forecast that the number of 5G subscribers will pass 11 million by the end of this year.
Apple’s market share in Korea stood at 8.9 percent as of the third quarter, according to market tracker Strategy Analytics, trailing behind local producers LG Electronics at 9.6 percent and Samsung at 72.3 percent.
BY PARK EUN-JEE, YONHAP [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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