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Apple sold estimated 60,000 iPhones in South Korean launch

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
In its first day of availability at the end of November, the iPhone sold an estimated 60,000 units in South Korea, giving Apple one successful Asian debut.

According to Digital East Asia, wireless carrier KT Corporation saw a strong sales start for the iPhone in South Korea. To put the number in perspective, Apple's 60,000 iPhones represent 15 percent of 400,000 total smartphones sold in the country in the third quarter of 2009.

"In spite of the fact that the Korean market offers one of the most advanced set of mobile products and services in the world, smartphones only represent about 1% of the total mobile market," the report said. "Executives at KT believe that the introduction of the iPhone could be a turning point for smartphones in Korea."

It's a bit of positive news for Apple in Asia, where most recent headlines have focused on the iPhone's lack of success in China. Last week, it was revealed that China's largest e-commerce Web site sold just five iPhones in their first two weeks of availability. At it was estimated that just 5,000 iPhones were sold at launch on the carrier China Unicom.

In South Korea, the market has long been dominated by native handset manufacturers like LG and Samsung. Those companies were reportedly aided in the past by government regulations that placed restrictions on foreign companies. Samsung and Pantech have an estimated 90 percent market share in South Korea, and nearly 90 percent of the population owns a mobile phone.

Overseas expansion of the iPhone will continue this week, when Apple's handset makes its debut in Israel. Cellcom, the nation's largest wireless provider, will sell the smartphone beginning Wednesday at midnight local time, and competitors Orange and Bezeq Israel Telecom will offer it Thursday.

Israel reportedly has one of the highest global mobile phone penetration rates, at 125 percent. An estimated 80,000 unlocked iPhones already exist in the country.
post #2 of 48
Wow did not realize how few phones sold in china. yikes. I guess apple should pay the stock holders back and sell the business.
post #3 of 48
Don't want to sound ethnocentric, but something really is amiss, afoot, alas.

Here it is Apple has, a by every stretch of the imagination, a 'winning' product and it has taken almost 3 years to open up the Asian markets (a little less for the EU market) and yet they have been selling tons of 'crap' products (via Walmart) to us for decades!

The iPhone just high lights the disparity in a so-called 'free global market.'

Oh well.

EDIT: Before Solipsism corrects me, I guess it is naive of me to think it is a 'free' global Market!
post #4 of 48
So this pretty much kills any of the talk about S. Korea being so advanced that no one will want to use the iPhone. 15% installed base of smartphones after a couple weeks is pretty damn excessive. I have to wonder how many of those buyers are new to the smartphone as platform since only about 300k used smartphones in that country prior to the launch.

PS: Any non-Koreans living in Korea have any problems procuring an iPhone. Ive heard stories about nationalist bigotry being quite common even when it comes to spending money on a phone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by farshad View Post

Wow did not realize how few phones sold in china. yikes. I guess apple should pay the stock holders back and sell the business.

Note that those were through official channels, which had no WiFi chip at launch do to a stupid law that will be reversed and cost more than alternative methods.. There have several hundred-thousand iPhones reportedly sold in China.
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post #5 of 48
Very nice. Just shows how far ahead of the game the iPhone is - even in parts of Asia, no less.

Now if only the Chinese situation could be rectified.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Don't want to sound ethnocentric, but something really is amiss, afoot, alas.

Here it is Apple has, a by every stretch of the imagination, a 'winning' product and it has taken almost 3 years to open up the Asian markets (a little less for the EU market) and yet they have been selling tons of 'crap' products (via Walmart) to us for decades!

The iPhone just high lights the disparity in a so-called 'free global market.'

Oh well. :???

I dont quite understand your post. What part seems amiss? The time it takes to go from the US market to Asain markets? The fact that a product that the US sells in Walmart can also be a premium product in other markets? I think you have a valid point but Im just not sure what it is.
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post #7 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by farshad View Post

Wow did not realize how few phones sold in china. yikes. I guess apple should pay the stock holders back and sell the business.

Yes, Apple is DOOMED!
post #8 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by farshad View Post

Wow did not realize how few phones sold in china. yikes. I guess apple should pay the stock holders back and sell the business.

Apple has very little retail exposure in China. Apple wholesales Iphones to China Unicom which then retails. According to the China Business News China Unicom will pay Apple 10B CNY (USD $1,463B) for 5M units from Apple over 3 years. How many Iphones has Apple sold in China?
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Very nice. Just shows how far ahead of the game the iPhone is - even in parts of Asia, no less.

Now if only the Chinese situation could be rectified.

Of course it will be..... (after the current lot are taken to the landfill)....
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont quite understand your post. What part seems amiss? The time it takes to go from the US market to Asain markets? The fact that a product that the US sells in Walmart can also be a premium product in other markets? I think you have a valid point but Im just not sure what it is.

Yep, 'the time it takes to get into Asian markets was my main point'...seems a bit one sided.
post #11 of 48
I'm surprised it did that well in Korea since they are a tech mecca more so than China.
post #12 of 48
Isn't Hong Kong in Asia?

Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan.

I'd heard Geography wasn't America's strongpoint but i've never come across it first hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Don't want to sound ethnocentric, but something really is amiss, afoot, alas.

Here it is Apple has, a by every stretch of the imagination, a 'winning' product and it has taken almost 3 years to open up the Asian markets (a little less for the EU market) and yet they have been selling tons of 'crap' products (via Walmart) to us for decades!

The iPhone just high lights the disparity in a so-called 'free global market.'

Oh well.

EDIT: Before Solipsism corrects me, I guess it is naive of me to think it is a 'free' global Market!
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post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Isn't Hong Kong in Asia?

Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan.

I'd heard Geography wasn't America's strongpoint but i've never come across it first hand.

Now, now...be nice, don't be so dismissive. I know it is often said, 'America has to go to war with a country, to learn where it is!'

But I'm English living here in the States. Anyway, you don't think 3 years is a long time for such a game changing product as the iPhone to get into China and Korea?
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Yep, 'the time it takes to get into Asian markets was my main point'...seems a bit one sided.

Seems faster than most Western countries. Nokia, the largest handset maker and often touted as having a great feature set by Europeans, pulled out of Japan last year.

We have to consider Apple’s relatively small exposure in Asia and the different networks that can cause some issue. The first iPhone wouldn’t even have worked in Korea until the 3G arrived less than 1.5 years ago since their 2G is completely CDMA. Then we have to consider the quasi-“closed door" policies for outside businesses coming in, and the supply constraints for the ever increasing iPhone sales which even kept European countries in low supply after the 3GS launch.

Frankly, I think Apple is building a little too quickly. At this point they have to rely on growth in markets they are already in as there are very few places they can expand to using a GSM/3GSM device. I’ve liked Apple as stockholder because their growth was sustained and even. Now I’m not so sure what to expect in a year.
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post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Seems faster than most Western countries. Nokia, the largest handset maker and often touted as having a great feature set by Europeans, pulled out of Japan last year.

We have to consider Apples relatively small exposure in Asia and the different networks that can cause some issue. The first iPhone wouldnt even have worked in Korea until the 3G arrived less than 1.5 years ago since their 2G is completely CDMA. Then we have to consider the quasi-closed door" policies for out businesses coming in and the supply constraints for the ever increasing iPhone sales.

Frankly, I think Apple is building a little too quickly. At this point they have to rely on growth in markets they are already in as there are very few places they can expand to using a GSM/3GSM device. Ive liked Apple as stockholder because their growth was sustained and even. Now Im not so sure what to expect in a year.

Good points.
post #16 of 48
Al Gore didn't have Laura Ling infiltrate Korea for nothing.
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Isn't Hong Kong in Asia?

Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan.

I'd heard Geography wasn't America's strongpoint but i've never come across it first hand.

Geographically, sure. I have no doubt that Christopher126 knows that, but it was under British Rule for some 150 years only returning back to China a decade or so ago. When I think of Asia and the Asian people I don’t think of Hong Kong and it’s strong ties to the West. I wouldn’t slight anyone for that unless it was specifically regarding where Hong Kong was located.

PS: {It seems to me that American] Westerners don’t consider Indians or Middle Easterns as Asians. You can test this sometime.
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post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


PS: Westerners dont consider Indians or Middle Easterns as Asians. You can test this sometime.

To say 'westerners' is too broad a sweep. This is a peculiarly US usage of the word.

For the rest of the world (at least, the places to which I've traveled), 'Asia' means what it actually is on a map: Just about everything from the Middle East all the way to Papua New Guinea.
post #19 of 48
*wrong thread.*
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

To say 'westerners' is too broad a sweep. This is a peculiarly US usage of the word.
For the rest of the world (at least, the places to which I've traveled), 'Asia' means what it actually is on a map: Just about everything from the Middle East all the way to Papua New Guinea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Geographically, sure. I have no doubt that Christopher126 knows that, but it was under British Rule for some 150 years only returning back to China a decade or so ago. When I think of Asia and the Asian people I don’t think of Hong Kong and it’s strong ties to the West. I wouldn’t slight anyone for that unless it was specifically regarding where Hong Kong was located.

PS: Westerners don’t consider Indians or Middle Easterns as Asians. You can test this sometime.

We interrupt this program to give you a geography lesson. Gag.
These Brits and what-have-you actually think they are so much more superior than any American yet they move here and buy all our products- especially Apple products. Such hypocrisy.
post #21 of 48
I was in South Korea for three weeks in the spring of 2008. Whenever I pulled out my iPhone, a crowd would gather around and people would ask for a demo. I found that interesting because I had heard that Korea produced such advanced mobile phones.

But it was clear that the iPhone went way beyond what Koreans were used to using and they were clearly interested in the technology.
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

To say 'westerners' is too broad a sweep. This is a peculiarly US usage of the word.

For the rest of the world (at least, the places to which I've traveled), 'Asia' means what it actually is on a map: Just about everything from the Middle East all the way to Papua New Guinea.

My anecdotal observations are quite different, but being an American I have to consider that people were talking to me from an American PoV for my benefit.

Hell, even the term Western is ambiguous in and of itself. I tend to use it specifically to define people and their cultures derived from the Western Roman Empire and their base form of government.

PS: I hate that the term Oriental is considered derogatory when the terms origins and etymology are from offensive and quite intriguing.
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post #23 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: I hate that the term Oriental ....

You occidentals all look alike!
post #24 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: Westerners dont consider Indians or Middle Easterns as Asians. You can test this sometime.

That's certainly not true in Britain. In fact, the very opposite is true. The term Asian usually refers to someone from the Indian sub-continent in the UK.

I don't know about the rest of western Europe. I guess it all depends on the size of the immigrant communities.

Whilst on the subject, does anyone know how well the iPhone is doing in India?
post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You occidentals all look alike!




Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

That's certainly not true in Britain. In fact, the very opposite is true. The term Asian usually refers to someone from the Indian sub-continent in the UK.

I edited my post script to refer specifically to my observations of American Westerners.

Quote:
Whilst on the subject, does anyone know how well the iPhone is doing in India?

I would image it being quite bad. My stay in the country prior to the iPhone arriving had Nokia phones upwards of $900 USD at one Nokia store I visited but I dont think I ever saw anyone using a decent phone that wasnt had outside the country.

If you look at Indians network there is hardly any areas with 3GSM so EDGE is the best data you could find. Id say it would be better to have an iPod Touch and simple pro-paid phone.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...c_region#India
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Israel reportedly has one of the highest global mobile phone penetration rates, at 125 percent. An estimated 80,000 unlocked iPhones already exist in the country.

Wow, people in Isreal must really like their phones for it to have over 100 percent penetration.
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Wow, people in Isreal must really like their phones for it to have over 100 percent penetration.

Its really has to do with other factors. Id guess that Isreal didnt have the extensive landline infrastructure that the US and other nations had so that when cellular infrastrusture came along it became a cheap alternative.
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post #28 of 48
Australia also has over 100% penetration, almost everyone has a mobile or more than one, work and personal for instance.

There is still plenty of growth for Apple all the two year contracts for the 3G will start ending in July next year, I can't see a lot of people switching, especially those who have come to rely on all their Apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Wow, people in Isreal must really like their phones for it to have over 100 percent penetration.
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post #29 of 48
(edit: too emotional a response, retracted and edited my subsequent responses)
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Don't want to sound ethnocentric, but something really is amiss, afoot, alas.

Here it is Apple has, a by every stretch of the imagination, a 'winning' product and it has taken almost 3 years to open up the Asian markets (a little less for the EU market) and yet they have been selling tons of 'crap' products (via Walmart) to us for decades!

The iPhone just high lights the disparity in a so-called 'free global market.'

Oh well.

EDIT: Before Solipsism corrects me, I guess it is naive of me to think it is a 'free' global Market!

iPhones have been in Asia for many, many years. It's taken time of officially open up the markets but the grey/import market has been around so there's your free trade at work. Xbox360's are widely available even though officially they're not sold in many countries.

On one hand you've got big corporations in the US going all out importing all sorts of crap into the US. On the other hand you've got nonsense bureaucracies in Asia so all sorts of US crap (ironically made in Asia anyways) goes in grey market into Asia.
post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Isn't Hong Kong in Asia?
Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan.

I'd heard Geography wasn't America's strongpoint but i've never come across it first hand.

It's extremely shocking to see it in this article. I swear Americans are better at this kind of stuff than the writer of this article. BTW, besides the countries you listed India is also considered Asia.

"One successful Asian debut" - absolute rubbish.

Apple has had several successful formal Asian debuts, and informal introductions through the grey market.

AppleInsider please correct or clarify your article as soon as possible. I suggest the wording be "...giving Apple one *RECENT* successful Asian debut".
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Geographically, sure. I have no doubt that Christopher126 knows that, but it was under British Rule for some 150 years only returning back to China a decade or so ago. When I think of Asia and the Asian people I don’t think of Hong Kong and it’s strong ties to the West. I wouldn’t slight anyone for that unless it was specifically regarding where Hong Kong was located.

PS: {It seems to me that American] Westerners don’t consider Indians or Middle Easterns as Asians. You can test this sometime.

Guys in modern international, economic, geographical, political and journalistic terms, Asia means China, India, Hong Kong, South East Asia, Japan, Korea. It's pretty simple.
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TokyoJimu View Post

I was in South Korea for three weeks in the spring of 2008. Whenever I pulled out my iPhone, a crowd would gather around and people would ask for a demo. I found that interesting because I had heard that Korea produced such advanced mobile phones.

But it was clear that the iPhone went way beyond what Koreans were used to using and they were clearly interested in the technology.

Just like anywhere in the world, Apple takes technology and makes magic out of it. This appeals to a wide range of humanity as a whole, I think.
post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I'm surprised it did that well in Korea since they are a tech mecca more so than China.

The iPhone hardware is like 90% Samsung anyway. Even after Apple switches to a PA Semi processor, it needs to be made in someones fab. If it's not Intel, it will probably be Samsung.
post #35 of 48

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

We interrupt this program to give you a geography lesson. Gag.
These Brits and what-have-you actually think they are so much more superior than any American yet they move here and buy all our products- especially Apple products. Such hypocrisy.

Someone was actually banned for writing that response? Please tell me I've misunderstood the situation.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbryan View Post

Someone was actually banned for writing that response? Please tell me I've misunderstood the situation.

Best thing to do is to take it up with the mods, off the forums. That individual was a repeat offender and has been dealt with accordingly.
post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbryan View Post

Someone was actually banned for writing that response? Please tell me I've misunderstood the situation.

Why do you think it was that response that got him banned?
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post #39 of 48
I don't understand how when Apple sells 60000 it is a huge success but when palm debuts in the U.S. with 90000 or the Droid debuts with 110000 those phones are failures. Sometimes this website contradicts itself. Just my opinion. My friend Penn was one of those 60000 purchasers! Go penn!
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel0418 View Post

I don't understand how when Apple sells 60000 it is a huge success but when palm debuts in the U.S. with 90000 or the Droid debuts with 110000 those phones are failures. Sometimes this website contradicts itself. Just my opinion. My friend Penn was one of those 60000 purchasers! Go penn!

If we are just looking at Apple’s financials then Korea’s 60K isn’t nearly as good as the 700K for the original iPhone launch weekend, but we have to consider other factors at play. Apple has captured 15% of the S. Korean smartphone since launch while they have yet to do that in any other country I am aware of. I think they have more than 15% of AT&T’s smartphone market, maybe even their handset market, but they don’t have those figures for the whole of the US. Here are some other numbers that show the vast differences in country size.
US population: ~308M
S. Korean Population: ~48M

US mobile subscribers: ~277M
S.Koreans mobile subscribers: ~44M

US smartphone customers: More than 10M?
S. Korean smartphone customers: ~300K (prior to iPhone launch)
Let’s not forget that Apple is an American company doing business in S. Korea where they apparently have "such advanced tech that Apple is woefully behind in every way.”
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