South Korea approves sale of Apple’s iPhone

Apple Online Store “South Korea’s telecommunications regulator said Wednesday that Apple Inc. can sell its hit iPhone in the country — potentially shaking up a cell phone market controlled by domestic manufacturers,” Kelly Olsen reports for The Associated Press. “The Korea Communications Commission approved the sale of the device at a meeting attended by its five commissioners, said spokesman Lee Sang-hun.”

“The introduction of the iPhone has been keenly awaited in South Korea, where the handset market is dominated by Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and other domestic manufacturers,” Olsen reports.

“Apple spokesman Steve Park said the company had no comment on the commission’s decision and added that nothing was decided or planned on the iPhone’s release in South Korea,” Olsen reports. “Local service providers, however, said they are in talks with Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple regarding the iPhone. ‘We will try to release the iPhone as soon as possible,’ said Yeom Woo-jong, a spokesman for KT Corp.”

Full article here.


  1. The S. Korean industries are desperately afraid of the iPhone. Their entire economic system is controlled by giant monopolies or “chabol”.
    When in S. Korea you even see “LG” supermarkets and gas stations. The last thing they want is a foreigner selling a better widget.
    The Korean economy has been one of the greatest success stories of modern history. They have come up from 3rd world status after the last war, to one of the worlds top economies.
    This will be one of the first “cracks” in their closed ecosystem where they get to ship product out to the rest of the world, but as of yet, allow virtually no foreign competition on their own soil.

  2. But does Apple Inc. not own some Samsung shares and buys Samsung products?
    Here in Canada the Apple iPhone guy told me yesterday there are iPhones available at the Apple store I was at, but Rogers has a zero supply. So production = sales. And, Sales = production.

    So for a while the Koreans are going to be finding the iPhones will be in short supply.

  3. Given how nationalistic Korean buyers are, and the strength of their homegrown mfrs, you’d think the iPhone has no chance whatsoever; however, the story also shows a high level of interest thru the wireless carriers. Will be interesting to watch how the iPhone does in Korea. I thought Korea would be the toughest nut to crack, harder than China or Japan, but who knows?

  4. @ dijonaise
    Actually, it’s “chaebol”.

    chaebol |ˈkīˌbäl; -ˌbôl|
    noun ( pl. same or -bols )
    (in South Korea) a large business conglomerate, typically a family-owned one.
    ORIGIN 1980s: Korean, literally ‘money clan.’

    Gotta love that Mac dictionary!

  5. @dijonaise

    you misunderstand something about Korea. you don’t know about it well. they are not afraid of importing iphone. plus, there are already lots of imported cars on the street. the problem is that Korean law or regulatory on imported electronics gadget especially for phone is really tough and very restricted. that’s why it’s been a while to pass the bill. do you think that any damn Apple product will be successful no matter where it goes? you’re totally wrong. ipod market in Korea is still struggle for business comparing to other countries. major problem is that they don’t have iTunes music store (only app store). that’s why ipod is not really useful. it is very useful when combination with itunes music store works well each other.
    you just can’t judge some of fact by yourself. if you don’t know why, then be quiet or try to learn why it is hard to allow over there.

  6. I also think Korea will be one of the hardest markets to crack. Unlike many of the other Asian countries, owning a foreign product is actually looked down upon. Very nationalistic. This will have to be marketed to the younger generation. I’m positive the iPhone made it through their regulatory process because Apple buys huge amounts of Samsung components!

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