When the iPhone comes to these shores in November, it will bring a lot of extra baggage with it. In truth, it is only one of a handful of smart phones which will debut in Korea – a category of phones that may have trouble taking off. Obvious restrictions on data, packages, and other general internet tom-foolery have kept such devices at a wary distance from the tech-savvy nation, but all of that may soon change – in fact, it must.
Though Samsung hog 51% of the market, all of their smart phones have been released abroad, ostensibly to test the waters, and foreign appetite for their designs. The same is true for Korea’s number 2 manufacturer: LG. Both companies’ domestic phone offering rely on screens, TV, and cute models to sell their phones do little else besides TV and telephony.
According to the Joong Ang Daily, November should also bring Korean smart phones along with international counterparts to the newly-opened handset market. But, like the sudden and ineffectual injection of pretty-boy David Beckham to America’s Major League Soccer, it won’t affect the fact that Koreans have yet to use real smartphones, iPhone or not. Adoption of the new handhelds may be difficult simply because the computer-esque features which many iPhone users hold dear, aren’t really seen on any Korean handset.
Some smartphones pack the latest screens and cameras, but most rely on the amalgamation of communication-based technology. The iPhone is an all-rounder: it plays video, has a decent, but not great screen; it can make calls, but isn’t the best mobile phone – aside from its elegantly simple interface, it is best known for the App Store. In Korea though, the App Store hasn’t picked up as well as its counterparts in the West have. It will need to grow domestically in order to be successful.
Fortunately, Korea houses an extremely talented and dedicated gang of software engineers whose vanguard of mobile applications should pave the way for the iPhone. And not only the iPhone – Android, a platform whose ranks burst with everything from mobile phones to netbooks, and digital players, will finally land here. For Korean customers’ sake, international smartphones must break in, if only to sharpen the monotonous market.
If you found this article interesting, feel free to read more about iPhone developments in Korea.
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