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iPhone approved in South Korea; China Mobile talks continue

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Apple is set to launch the iPhone in South Korea this month after earning approval from the nation's telecommunications director Wednesday; and talks with carrier China Mobile remain ongoing.

South Korea launch said imminent

The Korea Communications Commission approved the iPhone at its meeting, which means Apple can now sell the device whenever it chooses, according to The Associated Press. After the handset's debut in China, South Korea is one of the last major Asian countries without the iPhone.

The handset is now expected to arrive in a matter of weeks, perhaps before the end of the month. Service providers KT Corp. and SK Telecom Co. have reportedly been in talks with Apple to sell the iPhone on their networks. None of the parties involved had anything to announce Wednesday.

The government approval for the handset came from a nationwide policy that all devices providing location-based services be subjected to review.

China Mobile talks ongoing

Apple's negotiations with the world's largest wireless provider, China Mobile, are said to remain in progress. A report Wednesday from Dow Jones Newswires stated that Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, said his company would like to sell the iPhone, along with other smartphone models, to diversify their product lineup.

He said the iPhone is particularly attractive because of its appeal to younger customers.

Rival carrier China Unicom reached a three-year deal with Apple in August. The non-exclusive agreement left the door open for a potential deal with China Mobile.

Earlier this year, it was estimated that China Mobile has 475 million total subscribers. China Unicom is said to have 141 million of the nation's 700 million total wireless subscribers. There are more cell phone customers in China than in the U.S. and Europe combined.
post #2 of 12
South Korea
That leaves UMTS-based SK Telecom with 22M subs and KT with 14M as potential GSM-based candidates. The odd system is that despite having UMTS and HSDPA/HSPA for 3G they have CDMA for 2G. The iPhone’s current 2G radios likely don’t need to be altered to work on their network. I’d wager that the size of the country means that their WCDMA has full coverage.

LG Telecom’s 8M CDMA-based subs are out. Only about 44M for the whole country though that is a 90% penetration rate.

China
With China Mobile’s reported 508M subs as of September 2009 it would behoove Apple to make an additional model for China, especially considering the lack of coverage each carrier has. The iPhone in it’s current form simply isn’t an option to everyone that wants it even if they can afford it. The currently use GSM, GPRS, EDGE and TD-SCDMA (3G). They appear to have about 1.5M on their 4G network.

Anyone have info on how different TDD is from FDD? Can this sue the same chips just working in different ways or are completely new radio hardware required for this change over?
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post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

South Korea
That leaves UMTS-based SK Telecom with 22M subs and KT with 14M as potential GSM-based candidates. The odd system is that despite having UMTS and HSDPA/HSPA for 3G they have CDMA for 2G. The iPhones current 2G radios likely dont need to be altered to work on their network. Id wager that the size of the country means that their WCDMA has full coverage.

LG Telecoms 8M CDMA-based subs are out. Only about 44M for the whole country though that is a 90% penetration rate.

SK are pretty much out as they seem to be going down the Android path. Its officials show very little faith in the iPhone's chances of taking off in Korea. Maybe they just don't like what Apple is offering. They are used to having the upper hand.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...133_55217.html
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Grain of Salt View Post

SK are pretty much out as they seem to be going down the Android path. Its officials show very little faith in the iPhone's chances of taking off in Korea. Maybe they just don't like what Apple is offering. They are used to having the upper hand.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...133_55217.html

I can see that. Im surprised its officially selling in China and that its doing as well as it is in Japan. Western consumer electronic companies selling in Asia sounds as foreign to me as Toyota selling as the Corolla in 1968. Back then America made its own CE. Oh how times change.

Does 3G blanket South Korea so that the CDMA HW will not be needed for a S. Korean iPhone?
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post #5 of 12
Let's just say that the local newspapers in Korea are not hopeful with a SK Telecom iphone launch.

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news...123_55161.html
post #6 of 12
Wow, the IPhone just gets bigger and bigger and bigger. Amazing!

RT
www.online-privacy.at.tc
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Does 3G blanket South Korea so that the CDMA HW will not be needed for a S. Korean iPhone?

There's a map for that (well one actally, SK's map isn't available)

http://gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?cc=kr&net=kt
post #8 of 12
Would like to know when they will launch their app store.
80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
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80 million iPhones by 2012. That's only 15% of the market.

http://www.iphonethailand.net
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

There's a map for that (well one actally, SK's map isn't available)

http://gsmworld.com/cgi-bin/ni_map.pl?cc=kr&net=kt

Thanks for the map. They seem to a pretty complete coverage. That looks like WCDMA coverage is at least 95% of the land area.
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post #10 of 12
The Date is November 28th 2009.
I've been waiting a long time, hence bought an ipod touch during the long wait.
Unless you live in Korea like myself, no amount of sales data will convince people in Korea to buy in droves. Here's 2 reasons why.
- No DMB (mobile satelite TV, most Korean phone have this capability already and is very popular)
- No active-x or flash support on iphone safari. This is going to be the biggest reason for wide adoption of iphone. Why? 90% of all websites in Korea use active-x (stupid, huh?)
KT, who is going to provide it, are not all excited at the prospect of the iphone. I think they just introducing it, just because..
Some might compare Korea with Japan's success. No comparison as Japan does not restrict it's users to use Internet Explorer's active-x.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

The Date is November 28th 2009.
I've been waiting a long time, hence bought an ipod touch during the long wait.
Unless you live in Korea like myself, no amount of sales data will convince people in Korea to buy in droves. Here's 2 reasons why.
- No DMB (mobile satelite TV, most Korean phone have this capability already and is very popular)
- No active-x or flash support on iphone safari. This is going to be the biggest reason for wide adoption of iphone. Why? 90% of all websites in Korea use active-x (stupid, huh?)
KT, who is going to provide it, are not all excited at the prospect of the iphone. I think they just introducing it, just because..
Some might compare Korea with Japan's success. No comparison as Japan does not restrict it's users to use Internet Explorer's active-x.

What mobile OSes support ActiveX outside of WinMo? Google Chrome seems to support a few aspects of it in Windows, but I doubt that Androids Chrome does. Also, Opera doesnt seem to support it and Firefox has(had) an ActiveX plug-in but I am not sure its even usable on the newer Firefox versions.

It seems that if Korea is still using ActiveX then they are woefully behind the times. Having modern mobiles with modern, standards based OSes with decent rendering engines may be enough to force many to change the way they code their websites. After all, it wasnt long after the iPhone hit the US that websites started making iPhone optimized sites.

How popular is DMB? I know that people talked up this type feature in Japan but the reality is that its good enough quality and people simply dont use it much on average despite the number of devices that support it. The iPhone seems to be doing very well in Japan for an outside device.
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post #12 of 12
This is one of the most half-a.s.s.ed iphone launch announcement ever --- they announced the news on a weekend when the reporters are home with their family.

You are supposed to announce it on a weekday when newspapers are covering your company and your stock price.
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