Rivals benefit as iPhone 4 delayed in S.Korea

With Apple's new iPhone beset by complaints about dodgy reception, the South Korean distributor is struggling to stop customers defecting to rival smartphones after a delay in its local release.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said this month the iPhone 4 was going on sale in 17 of 18 new markets - including Hong Kong and Singapore, but excluding South Korea.

The latest generation of the best-selling smartphone will make its debut in the other markets on Friday, but Jobs said at the time it would "take us a little longer to get government approval" in South Korea.

His remarks sparked concern among tech-savvy South Koreans, who still remember the regulatory barriers that kept the previous version of the iPhone out of the country for more than two years.

After finally hitting the local market eight months ago, its sales have soared to more than 800,000.

Apple's local spokesman Steve Park confirmed the iPhone 4 introduction in South Korea was being delayed for a while.

"Our customers have made the iPhone the top selling smartphone in Korea and we are working very hard to bring them iPhone 4 as soon as possible," he told AFP Tuesday.

KT Corp., Apple's South Korean partner, said the delay was needed for further testing.

Spokesman Ham Young-Jin said the new phone could be released here within a month or two but flatly denied there were any government regulatory barriers.

"We're still carrying out testing before applying for government approval," he said.

The delay, which comes as Apple battles to reassure customers worried about reception issues with the new iPhone, is bringing a windfall to rivals such as Samsung Electronics, LG and Pantech.

"Many customers who have been weighing which smartphones they should buy are turning to Samsung's Galaxy S as the release of iPhone 4 is being delayed," said John Park of Daishin Securities.

Samsung said it had sold 500,000 Galaxy S phones in South Korea alone in the 33 days since it went on sale in the local market.

SK Telecom, South Korea's largest mobile service provider and exclusive seller of the Galaxy S, said an average 20,000 handsets were now being sold every day.

"We believe sales of the Galaxy S will hit more than a million units here by around Chuseok" harvest holiday starting September 22, Bae Jun-Dong, a senior vice president at SK Telecom, told journalists Monday.

South Korea's mobile phone market is one of the world's most vibrant, with 45 million users in a population of 49 million. But smartphones have a relatively small share, implying huge growth potential.

Samsung is the world's number two maker of mobile phones after Finland's Nokia, controlling 20 percent of the market.

But when it comes to smartphones, it ranks just fifth in the global market with a share of five percent, according to the JoongAng Daily.

Galaxy S is the brainchild of a 40-member task force Samsung set up in February 2008 to devise strategies to tackle the smartphone market.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer - 2nd & 3rd Line

    £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior / Mid Software Developer

    £22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Service Desk Manager

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic and Motion Designer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea