South Korea

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...

Korean court delays iPhone and iPad ban awaiting appeal

Apple Thursday won a temporary reprieve from a South Korean court, keeping the Cupertino, Calif. company's iPhone and iPad on store shelves in that country. A Seoul judge whose court in August ruled products by both Apple and Samsung should be yanked from stores, approved Apple's request for a stay while the U.S. firm appeals.

According to Bloomberg, Samsung has yet to file for a similar injunction. The original ruling by the Seoul Central District Court also banned sales of the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The court ruled both Apple and Samsung guilty of violating each others' patents...

Korea launches probe into Samsung over wireless patents abuse

Samsung is under fire in its home turf of South Korea over an alleged abuse of its wireless patents, Reuters reported today. The Korea Fair Trade Commission confirmed that the country's watchdog has launched an investigation based on Apple's antitrust complaints against Samsung which alleges that the Galaxy maker is abusing its patents to gain an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

Of course, Apple won a landmark victory in a high-stake U.S. trial last month that found Samsung guilty of breaching Apple's design and utility patents. The jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in damages and ruled that the iPhone maker had not violated any of Samsung's patents.

Samsung later promised to sue Apple immediately if the next iPhone is released with support for fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology...

The big question looms: does iPhone 5 have world support for numerous LTE bands?

iDB first discovered traces of high-speed fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular networking in iOS 5.1 code. Since then, multiple code hooks, hardware hints and credible sources have all but confirmed the industry's worst kept secret, that the next iPhone is widely expected to work over 4G LTE networks.

But is it going to be a worldphone in respect to 4G? What if it doesn't support a variety of LTE frequencies in use today? A new report from South Korea alleges that local telcos have been attempting to talk Apple into supporting the 1.8-gigahertz LTE frequency used in the country. This implies that the iPhone 5 may not support the numerous 4G frequencies in use across the world...