Korean music player price war prompts ‘patriotic’ marketing by Korean firms

“As Apple Korea hits the market with new products and drastically slashed prices, local firms are busy formulating responses including ‘patriotic’ marketing. In a newspaper advertisement marking the March 1 Independence Movement Day on Tuesday, Reigncom asks, ‘Does shouting ‘mansei’ buck-naked make Korea independent? U.S. firms are sweeping up most of the world’s HDD-type MP3 player market… As a sovereign MP3 state, we could not simply sit back and watch.’ Under the image of a Korean flag, it goes on, ‘After spending countless nights in the research room, we’ve finally produced a precious son for the world market… There will be many difficulties, but we are not afraid.’ Reigncom declared itself determined to face Apple’s offensive, saying, ‘We are the descendents of martyrs who braved bullets and swords to bring about independence to the cry of ‘mansei,”” The Chosun Ilbo reports.

“‘Apple has stepped up an offensive to kill local MP3 manufacturers,’ a Reigncom official said. ‘So we placed the advertisement to coincide with March 1 Independence Movement Day,'” The Chosun Ilbo reports. “…Local companies are struggling to keep up with Apple’s price cuts on HDD products… ‘Apple has started a large-scale price war, but we have no effective response,’ an industry insider said. ‘Big companies like Samsung Electronics and LGE could fend off Apple’s offensive, but small and medium-sized companies will be in trouble if the situation continues.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We guess hiring the porn star Jenna Jameson as spokesperson didn’t work as well as they had hoped. Some of these companies are already up the iRiver without a paddle. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) It’s desperation time, so trot out the flag as a last resort and pray to God that it delays the inevitable.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
iRiver bows to Apple’s iPod shuffle, slashes MP3 flash-based player prices up to 25 percent – January 31, 2005
iRiver hires U.S. porn starlet Jenna Jameson to promote portable media players – January 18, 2005
Portable digital device maker iRiver bites into Apple (literally) via website – January 18, 2005
iRiver CEO on Apple iPod shuffle: ‘It will be very difficult for users to find their favorite songs’ – January 17, 2005
iRiver President: Apple can keep the ‘iPod crown,’ we want the ‘entertainment crown’ – April 30, 2004
Microsoft poised to release ‘iPod killer,’ enlists Creative, iRiver, Napster, others – March 17, 2004
New iRiver flash-memory player: one-eighth the capacity of Apple’s ‘iPod mini’ for US$80 more – February 09, 2004


  1. I would like an iPod to add to my collection of decadent western imperialist toys. Also, when touring our many “re-education” facilities, it might muffle the screams of the inmates…

  2. It has been a long time since America has been able to market an electronics product and be successful in the asian market, and they respond by trying to fight it with good old fashion asian imperialism. (P.S. I am half Korean and I know all about the Chosun Ilbo it is very popular sort of likt eht NY Times in America)

    MDN, what’s with the pop-under ads? Didn’t you say there wouldn’t be pop-under ads anymore? I said nothing when MDN added so many banners and I can understand that MDN needs money for the bandwith, but you should keep your word. Banish those pop-under ads. They are disrespecting your readers.

  4. Nobody,

    It’s been explained already. Perhaps you missed this:

    MacDailyNews, “2/22. 10:25pm ET: We are currently testing various pop-under ad codes. We have now been in contact with Fastclick and there is a way for our users who do not wish to accept pop-unders to opt out. Users who wish to opt-out of pop-under and other Fastclick ad network ads may do so by installing the Fastclick Opt-Out Cookie. If you choose to install this cookie, please consider buying any songs you wish via iTunes by launching iTunes via our left side column to launch iTunes or please consider patronizing our other sponsors via banner and text ads (such as Other World Computing, MacService, PowerMax, The Apple Store, The Apple iTunes Music Store, and others) as MacDailyNews will be unable to derive any Fastclick revenue from your visits. MacDailyNews is an ad-supported site and Fastclick is a major component of this site’s revenue and helps greatly in offsetting our operational costs. Thank you.”

    The link to the MDN article

  5. @Nobody and all other complainers about popups/popunders: first it was just annoying and now those ads are disrespecting? How do you surf the internet? Annoyed and complaining all the time about not getting respect? Then why do you surf? You like to feel bad? You should check your self-importance.

  6. Now other countries know how I feel when I buy apple juice. All these apple orchards in the United States and my apple juice always says made in China.

    Deal with it Korea. I get sick of seeing your cheap ish in my country (i.e. Hyundai).

  7. Is there even a price war? Wal-mart has convinced everyone (or so it seems) that they can get quality at an ever lower price every 6 weeks. Sure, economy of scale applies; so does efficiency of manufacture; the HDD sector is still maturing. When it does, there may be no place left to go with the price and still have the quality. If that happens, then yeah, there may be a price war, but right now economic forces are simply running the price on down to the price point that the market will demand/bear.
    This is just Korea whining. Just like we in the west whine when we realize that just about everything we buy is manufactured in Korea, or China, or Taiwan, or Japan.

  8. In the Seoul International Airport they have an iRiver Lounge where you can sit in nice chairs and check out the iRiver products. It is a pretty nice lounge actually, reminded me a bit of an Apple store. I just looked at the products briefly. One thing that struck me was that even tho one product played video OK (on a very small screen) there was no way to fast forward. Bummer if you want to go out of the video and want to go back to watch the movie later – you would have to watch it all over again.

    I will be going to Korea again next week and will see if the Lounge is still going if I have time.

  9. ” It’s desperation time, so trot out the flag as a last resort and pray to God that it delays the inevitable.”

    Of course, nobody here in the good ol’ U.S.A. would ever use a similar appeal patriotic bigotry. Right?

  10. It is disrespecting if you say you are going to banish those pop-under ads and they still pop under. How do I surf the Internet? I use Safari with pop-up disabled. I never complained about banner ads and even during the initial phase of pop-under ads to let websites deal with them first. My self-importance is fine, thank you for asking. If you don’t consider yourself important, that is your own business.

    Pop Under Killer,
    Thank you very much. I indeed missed it. MDN, thanks for providing an opt-out. I take back what I said. I suggest you place a highly visible link to this policy for other users too.

  11. Hey nobody:
    “My self-importance is fine, thank you for asking. If you don’t consider yourself important, that is your own business.” > guess your name says it all.

    “I suggest you place a highly visible link to this policy for other users too.” > you mean for all those other important nobodies who first start complaining before checking …

  12. But Korea has no problems dumping POS cars in the USA?
    God, It’s about time an American company took out these cheap, third-world bastards who use kids and desperate workers for $3 a day.
    Go Apple, rock on iPod.


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