“Apple has accused a minor Korean portable music player manufacturer of illegally copying the design of its mega-selling iPod mini portable music player,” Cho Jin-seo reports for The Korea Times. “iops, the fifth largest MP3 player seller in South Korea, said Thursday that it had received an official complaint from Apple in October which demanded the Korean firm stop manufacturing and selling its two MP3 player models _ iops Jock and iops Z3. Apple insists that the Jock and Z3 models copy the exterior design and case colors of the iPod Mini, especially the layout of a display screen and a round-shape control button on the front panel. iops rebuffed the claim, saying it is waiting for further action from Apple. The Korean firm said that it is expecting an international legal suit from Apple.”

Cho Jin-seo reports, “Apple controls more than a half of the world’s MP3 player market this year. But it hasn’t been as successful in South Korea. According to a survey by Danawa.com, the largest Internet electronics shopping portal, Apple was the fourth largest seller in South Korea with an 8.6-percent share. Iops follows with 4.8 percent. Reigncom’s iRiver leads the market with 41.5 percent, with Cowon’s iAudio and Samsung’s Yepp following. Compared with Apple’s iPod with a similar price, iops’ products provide more features. Though it costs only about 160,00 won, the Jock model can play video files, and has FM radio and voice recording functions. Ipod Nano has 2-gigabyte storage, but doesn’t have such features and the price starts from 208,000 won.”

Full article here.

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