MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“South Korea’s telecommunications regulator cleared the way Wednesday for the launch of Apple’s iPhone amid reports the hit device could reach consumers late next week,” Kelly Olsen reports for The Associated Press.

“The Korea Communications Commission approved the granting of a business license to Apple to offer so-called location based services, said Oh Sang-jin, director of the commission’s privacy protection and ethics division,” Olsen reports.

“Location based services include functions such as maps and direction finders that are included on the iPhone. South Korean law requires companies that provide such applications to obtain government permission,” Olsen reports. “The approval was the last major regulatory hurdle the company faced in bringing the iPhone to South Korea, Oh said.”

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Rhee So-eui reports for Reuters, “iPhone’s entry could weigh on local market leaders, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which are also the world’s second and third-biggest mobile phone makers.”

“KT Corp., the country’s No. 2 mobile carrier which has been negotiating with Apple to introduce iPhone, said sales could start soon but did not provide a date for the launch,” So-eui reports. “In April, South Korea also lifted a rule that forced mobile phones sold locally to use a home-grown platform, opening the market to more foreign models… Prior to the rule change, foreign handset makers avoided the market.”

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