4 Articles for 'Apple'
- 2009/12/15 iPhone Is The Best Selling Phone in Korea (4)
- 2009/11/24 iPhone Finally in Korea! 22K Pre-order In Its First 2 Days
- 2009/06/12 Yet again, no iPhone for Korea (18)
- 2009/02/09 Samsung Mobile to Join the App Store Fray: Are Apps Stores Dime a Dozen?
(Via Bloter.net) According to Atlas Research Group, a mobile-focused research firm in Korea, iPhone came out as the best selling phone in Korea in the week of November 30. During that week, iPhone posted 10.2% market share of all mobile handsets (not just smartphones) sold in Korea.
The actual market share would be higher, as the figure does not include corporate bulk sales. For instance, Daum, Korea's #2 internet portal, announced to give free iPhones to all its employees. (The plan later changed to include an option to select a Samsung phone instead.)
The biggest market share loser turned out to be Samsung, which seems pretty natural given the company's high market share. Thanks to iPhone, Samsung's smartphone market share in Korea took a hit of 25.4%, and it turned out that 43.5% of those who switched to iPhone were Samsung phone users.
Just as the iPhone was a boon for AT&T (which is now taking all the blames for poor 3G coverage in the US), iPhone is helping KT, the Korean carrier for the iPhone, gain market share. The stop-loss strategy for the market-leader SK Telecom? A killer Android device, which is rumored to be similar to Motorola Droid but is better, bound for January 2010 launch.
Mobile | 2009/11/24 01:15 | Web 2.0 Asia
No more "in Korea, iPhone is the next month phone" joke.
KT is launching Apple iPhone soon and has opened a pre-order site this past Sunday. For the first 2 days, KT sold 22,000 iPhones (which are to be shipped out on the 28th). With this run-rate, KT will likely sell 400K-500K iPhones within the year. The sales figures are quite promising, considering it's been only 2 days and some people might be giving it just a little bit more time to see if they can get a better deal.
Speaking of the deal, iPhone in Korea looks fairly affordable. iPhone 3G S (32GB) costs KRW 946,000 (about US$800), but with KT subsidies under a 2-year contract, the phone comes in at KRW 396,000 (approx. US$ 300), and the user can pay that amount in 24-month installments. And here are KT's iPhone monthly plans:
- i-slim (KRW 35,000 or about US$ 30 per month): 150 mins of free calls, 200 free texts, 100MB free data use
- i-light (KRW 45,000 or about US$ 40 per month): 200 mins of free calls, 300 free texts, 500MB free data use
- i-medium (KRW 65,000 or about US$ 60 per month): 400 mins of free calls, 300 free texts, 1,000MB free data use
- i-premium (KRW 95,000 or about US$ 90 per month): 800 mins of free calls, 300 free texts, 3,000MB free data use
I'm a bit bothered by the data usage cap, but then assuming that many users will resort to Wi-fi for some of the data-heavy uses, iPhone's monthly price plans also seem pretty reasonable. Besides, these plans are not too much more expensive than the current ARPU of many mobile users anyway.
Of course many bloggers and Twitter users, who have been crossing their fingers for the iPhone in Korea for such a long time, are rejoicing. On the contrary, Samsung and LG don't seem to be too much excited by the news. For example, Samsung's uneasiness is hinted by this news: Daum, Korea's #2 portal, had announced a plan to give free iPhones and free data charges for 2 years a while ago. Recently, Samsung has lobbied itself into the deal, and Daum is now giving an on its free phone program. Of course Samsung's new smartphones are no slouch and have better specs than iPhone in quite a few areas. But the talk of the town, at least for now, is clearly the iPhone.
In the recent WWDC 2009, Apple announced iPhone 3G S and gave the list of countries the phone will be available - Korea wasn't included in the list this time again. Korea is just about the only developed country that doesn't have an iPhone yet. When countries like Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and Qatar are getting their iPhones soon (nothing against those countries, by the way) and yet South Korea, the world's 11th economy, isn't getting one, there's something seriously wrong there.
Including my friend Danny, Korean bloggers are not hesitating to express their disappointments over the no-iPhone news. Both SKT and KTF, the leading carriers of Korea, have been in talks with Apple to introduce iPhone in Korea, for quite a long time. But both companies seemed to have backed out a little bit now, saying they couldn't strike mutually beneficial business deals with Apple. Well, that's just a polite way of saying that Apple demanded too much. But then, given the huge success of iPhone, Apple may actually deserve to demand much. Now carriers have to admit Apple's got the upper hand in the smartphone game.
But it might actually go deeper than that. Out of fear to become "dumb bit pipes", Korean wireless carriers have been working so hard to transform themselves into digital content empires by acquiring content companies and building a tight control over the content value chain. But iPhone is all about getting out of carrier value chain: web browsing on WiFi networks or App Store downloads have nothing to do with carriers. So the fact that the carriers haven't yet fully recouped their massive content investment might be the true reason, or at least part of the reason, why Korea still doesn't have an iPhone yet.
Samsung Mobile to Join the App Store Fray: Are Apps Stores Dime a Dozen?Mobile | 2009/02/09 23:29 | Web 2.0 Asia
Recently Samsung Mobile has been the biggest gainer in the global mobile phone market. As if it wasn't enough to become the best-selling maker in some key European markets like the UK and France, Samsung became the king of the hill in the US cellphone market last year (which apparently had been helped significantly by Motorola's skid). A side note: Another big gainer in the US cellphone market was LG; As a result, 4 out of 10 cellphones currently sold in the US now hail from S Korea.
Full of confidence, apparently Samsung wants to flex its muscle in the software market as well - Samsung has announced plan (link in Korean) to join the app store bandwagon, with its own offering of mobile app store. Official announcement is to be made in Mobile World Congress on the 16th.
With Nokia also announcing a plan for its own app store, it's now easier to count handset manufacturers that do not have a plan for an app store. But, of course, it remains to be seen if Samsung et al can pull off creating as elegant an user experience as that of Apple's, thereby creating similar level of market success and customer satisfaction. Just remember guys - it takes whole different sets of skills.