“Samsung and LG, the world’s two-largest handset makers after Nokia Oyj, can no longer count on home-field advantage as they play catch up in the fastest-growing segment of the $163 billion global industry,” Jun Yang and Seonjin Cha report for Bloomberg.
“The iPhone, available in Korea only through KT Corp. as opposed to all of the nation’s three wireless carriers for Samsung and LG, has sold about 1.6 million units since it went on sale in the country in November 2009, according to KT,” Yang and Cha report. “South Korea had about 4.52 million users of smartphones — devices that can be used to surf the Web, and play games and video — at the end of September, with a quarter of those being the iPhone, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. analyst Stanley Yang.”
Yang and Cha report, “The iPhone created a ‘mobile big bang’ by changing the way Koreans live and work, according to Digieco, a research division of KT, in a report last month… Samsung and LG, which are adopting Google’s Android, may have fallen behind in the smartphone market because of their external reliance on software, according to Peter Yu, a Seoul- based analyst at BNP Paribas SA. ‘The iPhone and smartphones in general are mostly about software content — it’s more of a cultural product,’ said Yu, who has a ‘reduce’ rating on LG. ‘When the iPhone was introduced, the Korean companies were in a state of denial, they underestimated the potential.'”
Full article here.