Apple is planning to open a retail store in Seoul, South Korea, reports Reuters. This will be the company’s first official store in the country, which also plays home to the headquarters of Samsung, Apple’s largest competitor in the smartphone space.
A spokesperson for Apple confirmed the plans with Reuters via email, saying “We’re excited about opening our first Apple Store in Korea, one of the world’s economic centers and a leader in telecommunication and technology, with a vibrant K-culture.”
As Apple has admitted that unexpected iPhone 6s shutdowns are plaguing other models “outside the affected batch”, South Korea’s Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) is considering launching an investigation into the issue. “The agency is well aware of recent iPhone issues and is taking a close look at it,” an official told the The Korea Herald.
Apple’s app refund policy on the App Store has come under fire from South Korean game developers who are complaining about a loophole that permits ill-minded users to purchase charged content multiple times, request refunds and continue to consume the content without actually paying for it.
The Korea Times is reporting that the issue stems from Apple’s policy of withholding information about those who have been issued a refund.
Apple Music rival Spotify could finally turn a profit in 2107, one of its board members told the media Thursday. Asked if the Swedish music service could become profitable soon, Par-Jorgen Parson, one of Spotify’s first investors, told Reuters that it was “absolutely” the case.
Spotify currently operates in 60 markets and has more than 40 million paid subscribers. Apple Music is available in 115 markets and has 17 million paying customers and over 30 million songs in its catalog.
It’s taken longer than anticipated and Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has had to personally negotiate deals with local right holders and copyright associations, but Apple Music as of today is finally available to music lovers in South Korea. Launch in Samsung’s home turf, home to 50 million people, comes hot on the heels of the service’s debut in Israel yesterday.
Reuters reports that Apple is currently under fire in South Korea as the country’s antitrust regulator launches an investigation into “some matters”, without disclosing further details. Jeong Jae-chan, the head of the anti-competition body, said during a parliamentary hearing Tuesday that the agency was taking a closer look at Apple’s business practices in the country.
According to local media, the agency was reviewing details of Apple’s contracts with South Korean wireless carriers earlier this month.
Although Apple had previously attempted to roll out its subscription-based music-streaming service in Korea, the Cupertino firm ultimately failed to reach a consensus with local music copyright associations. But as of recently, Tim Cook & Co. have apparently managed to cut deals with local right holders and copyright associations.
As a result, the service could launch in South Korea, a 50 million people market, sooner than later, according to a news report today by The Korea Herald. No firm date for the launch was given at post time.
Ahead of the scheduled October 31 launch, carriers in South Korea have managed to collect 100,000 pre-orders for Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones, three times the amount of pre-orders for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
Carriers KT Corp., LG Uplus Corp. and SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, started accepting pre-orders for the new devices this past Friday, October 24.