Survey: Apple lags far behind in South Korean digital music player market

“Apple Computer Inc., the manufacturer of the popular MP3 player iPod brand, is lagging far behind South Korean rivals in the local digital music player market, a survey showed Wednesday,” Yonhap reports. “Apple accounted for 1.8 per cent of the South Korean MP3 player market in terms of revenue in the first half of this year, compared with ReignCom Ltd.’s 35 per cent and Samsung Electronics Co.’s 14 per cent, according to the survey by GfK Marketing Services Korea, a marketing consulting firm.”

“When it comes to unit sales, Apple came in 13th place with a market share of less than 2 per cent, compared with ReignCom with 31 per cent and Samsung with 14 per cent, the survey showed,” Yonhap reports. “The value of the MP3 player market in South Korea fell slightly to 174.5 billion won (US$172.2 million) during the first half, compared to 210 billion won a year ago, according to the consulting company.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Study: 32 million U.S. adults plan to buy iPod in next 12 months – July 20, 2005
Needham & Co: Apple ‘iPod Halo Effect’ fueling Mac purchases; predict 43 million iPod sales in 2006 – July 18, 2005
Apple smashes street with record revenue, earnings; shipped 6.155 million iPods – July 13, 2005

34 Comments

  1. in Korea no one cares what you listen to or how you listen to it. If you could sell crayons that played music for a cheap price it would fly off the shelf and someone would bootleg it in hours. I was stationed there for 2 years trust me on this one. This market is lost.

  2. Uh, actually, Korea puts the U.S. to shame in terms of the distribution of advanced technology to the masses. Everywhere you go there’s wired and wireless broadband. You never stand around saying, “Can you hear me now” as your cell signal is allways 4 bars strong. Every restaurant, coffee shop, etc. is filled with people using laptops. They listen to Korean music for sure, but they also listen to music from all over the world on their music players. The thing that drives the purchase of the music players is there is nary a Mac to be seen, and almost all PURCHASAED digital music is Windoze Media. Most is mpeg 3. When I would open my 17″ PowerBook, people would ask me about it, in English. Here’s the thing, even though no one had one, everyone still knew what an iPod was.

  3. I wish we had South Korea’s broadband. 100 megabit speeds as opposed to our cables 5 megabit speed. Or Verizon’s promised 10 megabit speed from their fiber. BFD! But hey, Cox and Verizon battling it out is competition according to the FCC. Whatever.

  4. “in Korea no one cares what you listen to or how you listen to it. If you could sell crayons that played music for a cheap price it would fly off the shelf and someone would bootleg it in hours. I was stationed there for 2 years trust me on this one. This market is lost.”

    I notice the macdailynews chauvinism is finally evolving to mere racism. Congratulations!

    “What, no iPod? Primitives! Primitives I say!!!”

  5. Price is one motivating factor that drives Korean’s purchasing decsions.
    All the my cousins in Korea want an ipod but none of them can afford the $600 price. I am sure most consumers balk at that price and would rather buy a much cheaper KOREAN made player. That’s the other thing, Apple cannot compete against 2000 years of nationalistic pride. Koreans would much rather support their own brands like samsung and reign.com than promote an outside brand like apple. I saw this phenomenon occur even at a local best buy. A Korean man and his son were there looking at the ipods. The father balks at the $350 price of the ipod and tries to convince his son that a much cheaper samsung disonctinued yepp player they had on clearance is better. Even after the BB employee told the man that the yepp player sucked, the man bought the samsung unit anyway.

  6. A couple of thoughts:

    It’s a lot easier to wire a smaller country than it is a large one. Note that “most” of the nations that lead the US in wireless service have a much smaller geographic area to contend with. (It might be interesting to see how much of those nations rural areas actually have great service. Most reports I’ve seen all reference populous urban areas for their statistics.)

    Being Creative’s backyard, there may be a bit of nationalism here making everyone buy from the “home” team; and saving face seems to be an important aspect of the Korean society.

    The US spent a lot of time and money propping up an energetic capitalist economy in South Korea; not too suprising that they have some agressive electronics companies. Look at how much they sell to us!

  7. “Korea puts the U.S. to shame in terms of the distribution of advanced technology to the masses. Everywhere you go there’s wired and wireless broadband. You never stand around saying, “Can you hear me now” as your cell signal is allways 4 bars strong.”

    While I agree, I point out a couple of things that are different between the US and South Korea.

    First, obviously, is size. South Korea is about the size of Kentucky with a population half-again as big as California (ie, much higher population density). This makes it more economically feasible to deploy wired and wireless services.

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