South Korea

Korea’s watchdog is investigating Apple for possible anti-competitive practices

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.

Obstacles to launching Apple Music in Korea reportedly removed

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.

iPhone 6 pre-orders on Samsung’s home turf top 100,000 units, outpacing Galaxy Note 4

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.

iPad tops customer satisfaction in South Korea

In what could only be described as a one-two punch to Samsung of South Korea, Apple’s iPad has now been named the top tablet in the country’s National Customer Satisfaction Index. Just yesterday, you’ll remember, the iPhone beat Samsung in Quality Insights customer satisfaction rankings in the Galaxy maker’s home territory.

The National Customer Satisfaction Index by the South Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy gave the Apple tablet the #1 ranking for the third consecutive year since the program’s inception in 2010, praising the ecosystem of apps tailored specifically for the iPad, along with an “excellent touch user experience”…

iPhone leads customer satisfaction in Samsung’s home turf of South Korea

There’s nothing like winning over your competitor’s hometown audience. Apple, accustomed to topping nearly every customer satisfaction survey, must take particular pleasure in being named best by smartphone owners in South Korea, home of rival Samsung.

The survey found even a year after purchase, iPhone owners were more satisfied overall, as well as happy with the repair experience. Customer satisfaction is an often-cited metric by Apple CEO Tim Cook, a quality in which some see him well-suited…

Apple allegedly in talks to launch iPhone 5S with LTE Advanced in South Korea

T-Mobile USA may be planning to leapfrog its rivals by becoming the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer up to three times faster LTE Advanced cellular radio technology, but over in South Korea the SK Telecom carrier already announced last Wednesday it’s become the world’s first telco to launch LTE Advanced network.

As you could imagine, Samsung Electronics CEO J.K. Shin wasted no time confirming his company will launch an LTE Advanced version of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chip. And now, SK Telecom is understood to be in talks with Tim Cook & Co. over offering an LTE Advanced variant of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5S handset…

Pressure mounts on Apple to reveal iOS source code

Samsung’s first crack at cornering Apple into providing the iOS source code came in November 2011, when it argued at an Australian court it needed to take a look into the iPhone 4S firmware in order to determine the extent of an alleged patent infringement.

And on its own turf in South Korea, the Galaxy maker is putting pressure on the Cupertino, California firm to reveal the iOS 6 source code to judge whether Apple’s mobile operating system – specifically, the Notification Center feature – infringes its technology patents.

To say that Apple wasn’t impressed would be an understatement: lawyers for the iPhone maker called Samsung’s request “insane” and argued its rival is trying to force it into revealing its “most important data”…

Korean iPhone users drop privacy suit against Apple to pursue $25M case

Back in 2011 a group of 29 people took action against Apple, claiming that the iPhone-maker was illegally enabling location-based features without their consent (you remember locationgate, don’t you?). Today, however, they’ve backed down after failing to provide sufficient evidence.

The group had been seeking 800,000 won (or $757 USD) per person, but will now turn their attention to a separate class-action privacy suit filed with a regional court, which involves claims from roughly 27,000 iPhone owners in the country and could be worth up to $25 million…

The iPhone 5 hits Samsung’s home turf

As promised, Apple on Friday rolled the iPhone 5 out in Samsung’s home turf of South Korea, home to population of 50 million people. Today’s launch will be augmented by the global roll-out to an additional 50 countries later in the month as Apple works on fulfilling its self-imposed schedule of having the device available in a hundred countries and across 240 carriers by year’s end.

The Cupertino firm appears to have caught up with demand as the online Apple Store now quotes 2-4 business days for online deliveries. The previous two-per-customer limitation has also been lifted so people can now order as much iPhones as they wish…

Korea orders its telcos ‘not to give excessive subsidies’ for the iPhone 5

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As iPhone 5 availability continues to improve, Apple today confirmed plans to launch the handset in South Korea this coming Friday, followed by the global expansion into an additional fifty markets throughout the month of December. However, the company could face an unexpected roadblock as The Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the country’s telecom regulator, has threatened to punish carriers SK Telecom and KT if they offer “illegal subsidies to attract more iPhone 5 customers”.

Apparently, luring would-be buyers with aggressively subsidized hardware is against the law in the fifty million people country. It is no secret that carriers elsewhere are whining about high iPhone subsidy, with some even mulling dropping subsidies altogether amid tanking margins, like China Unicom. Others, like T-Mobile, complain that carrying the iPhone bears short-term risks due to huge upfront payments to Apple…

Apple announces that iPhone 5 hits Korea and 50 additional markets in December

Apple has just announced via a media release that the iPhone 5 will launch in South Korea this Friday, December 7, with 50 additional markets to follow later this month. Next week, the iPhone 5 will go on sale in Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

The third wave of the global expansion will follow a week later, December 21, and will include Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St.Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam…

Apple fires Korean chief ahead of the iPhone 5 launch

Just days before the iPhone 5 is scheduled to launch in South Korea, Apple fired the chief of its business unit there. According to a report, Dominique Oh, hired only 17 months ago, was canned after supposedly sluggish sales. South Korea is important for Apple, as the Asian nation is home to its chief rival Samsung. Apple confirmed Oh’s contract was terminated, but said it could not address speculation on the reasoning behind the company’s decision…