• Does South Korea Even Care It's Getting The iPhone This Week?

    Although we have known for some time that the iPhone would make its long awaited debut in South Korea, now we know when the grand reveal will take place. A local carrier in South Korea announced Sunday that the globally popular iPhone will be formally introduced into "one of the world's most sophisticated mobile phone markets" this Thursday - which is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.

    Possibly poised to give the folks at Apple something to really be "thankful" for, there is no shortage of hype accompanying the iPhone's big debut in South Korea, although it seems mobile analysts in the US are far more excited about the iPhone coming to South Korea than South Korean residents are.

    Despite the country's burgeoning competitive mobile landscape, this weekend, PMP Today reported some intriguing estimates on what sales could look like and how powerful the iPhone's introduction to the South Korean marketplace "could" prove.

    Despite facing stiff competition from veteran local players such as Samsung and LG, KT is still very optimistic about their newest offering, the iPhone, as they expect to sell around 100,000 to 500,000 units once its releases in Korea.
    Although the official pricing has not yet been solidified, most expect the device to get a price tag of 350,000 to 400,000 KRW - or $300 to $345, including a contract. Not bad... but not great either. That price is somewhat on par with the cost of obtaining an iPhone in Japan - a nation in which the iPhone has largely flopped, at least in terms of the grand fanfare that usually awaits the iPhone's arrival.

    Given that the iPhone didnít fare so well in Japan (only 200,000 units sold since 2008), a market somewhat similar to Korea, weíre not too sure where KT is drawing their optimism from.
    Scheduled for a November 28th release, the unveiling comes only after South Korean telecom regulators recently allowed Apple to obtain a license for location-based services, a decision that came only days ago. The move, of course, cleared a path for the iPhone's introduction to local markets. This, naturally, was great news for Apple, which is still waiting for South Korea's chief mobile operator - SK Telecom - to determine whether or not to similarly introduce the iPhone.

    It will be fascinating this week to watch the iPhone roll out into one of the world's most saturated mobile markets - a community of 47 million mobile users already exposed to top mobile products and services. Will the iPhone fly or flop? Chances are we'll know the answer sooner rather than later.

    Image via PMP Today
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