News: Apple i-Phone’s Sweet Debut in Korea | BusinessKorea

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Apple’s i-Phone succeeds in generating a massive buzz in the Korean mobile phone market
15 December 2009 - 9:00am

APPLE’S i-Phone made a successful debut in Korea, a market traditionally dominated by local cell phone makers, Samsung and LG thanks to strict government regulations regarding foreign makers. KT announced that it had taken about 65,000 orders for i-Phones less than a week after the launch notice in November. KT sets the 32-gigabyte iPhone 3GS at 369,000 won for buyers subscribing to monthly plans based on the basic rate of 45,000 won. Customers paying 65,000 won in basic rates can get their hands on the iPhone for 264,000 won, while the Apple mobile gizmo will be free to premium subscribers signing up for monthly plans based on a 132,000 won basic rate. According to an industry expert, about 400,000 smartphones were sold in the third quarter in Korea. Samsung Electronics enjoyed the biggest share in the smartphone market as they did in the whole wireless handset market. The brilliant debut of i-Phone has triggered a fierce price war among premium phones with local handset giants Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics in Korea. Both Samsung and LG reduced the prices of their premium models, such as the Haptic, Omnia and Arena. KT, the mobile telephony operator introducing the iPhone to the Korean market is the No.2 ranked wireless carrier. The company hopes that Apple’s jack-of-all-trades smartphone will help KT secure a stronger weapon to fight against SK Telecom, the No.1 wireless carrier which has been enjoying a market share of more than 50% in Korea.

Against the i-Phone attack from KT, SK banded together with Samsung. Their answer to the i-Phone was the Omnia II. The Omnia II is designed for Smartphone users who demand an enhanced and convenient multimedia experience. Equipped with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional and featuring the world’s largest AMOLED display at 3.7 inches and with crystal-clear WVGA resolution, the Omnia II offers unbeatable screen clarity which can be viewed easily even in daylight. Armed with the latest technology, including an ultra fast 800MHz application processor, crystal-clear WVGA AMOLED display and more, the Omnia II is expected to enhance Samsung’s reputation in the growing smartphone market.

With its large icons and simple structure, the Omnia II’s innovative TouchWiz 2.0 User Interface ensures convenient, highspeed multi-tasking. The rich multimedia functions, including its DVD-like (480p) video recording/playback, A-GPS with navigation (3-D Maps), smooth Internet browsing and interactive 3-D games, offer users further functionality and enjoyment. While on the move, users can upload and download content quickly thanks to the Omnia II’s HSUPA 5.76Mbps, HSDPA 7.2Mbps and Wi-Fi capabilities. Generous memory of up to 48GB allows users to store more of their favorite content for on-the-go access. While i-Phone does not offer DMB TV services, Omnia II does.

“Samsung has made a great effort to reinforce its leadership in the Smartphone market over the past several years and the success of the Omnia II is proof of ourcontinuous efforts,” said Lee Young-hee, vice president of the Marketing, Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “I strongly believe that Omnia II satisfies the needs of consumers who want it all - efficiency at work, communications with their loved ones, fun multimedia experiences and style for any occasion.”

LG has its own answer, too. LG’s first Android smartphone, LG GW620, represents the company’s social networking vision to deliver a new kind of mobile experience for the growing number of consumers who insist on having their social networking tools with them wherever they go. The LG GW620 is perfectly positioned for the growing trend of mobile social networking. According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, “the combination of increasing smartphone sales and the insatiable appetite for social networking provides an ideal market for social networking smartphones to take hold.”

With the LG GW620’s SNS Manager, users can simply check a friend’s status, leave comments or update their own social networking sites remotely. The SNS Manager integrates all of one’s social networking needs into one convenient platform for the managing of multiple accounts while receiving real-time updates. Even when searching through the phone’s contact list, users can still view updates from friends and be taken directly to their sites if desired. In addition, no matter where one goes, friends and family are no more than a finger touch away with the LG GW620 which features Auto Face-Tagging and Face-To- Action technology. By simply tagging a friend’s face in a photo, one can easily execute a range of remote functions such as uploading photos to a favorite site or connecting through SMS, MMS or voice by simply touching the face on the display.

As a social networking smartphone, the LG GW620 replicates the comfortable environment of the PC for a more convenient social networking experience. The fingerfriendly, 5-line slider QWERTY keyboard coupled with one of the fastest web browsers around allows for speedy surfing and smooth streaming of video with every favorite Google application close at hand. The instant messenger threaded SMS and real-time push email functions keeps users more connected than ever before. When users want to chat, they only need to touch a name on the screen to see who’s logged on. With one more touch, they can start chatting.

The LG GW620 embraces the latest multientertainment features to deliver a rewarding, real-time create-and-share user experience. The crisp 5-megapixel AF camera and highresolution video recorder capture content that can be enhanced with the phone’s fun editing tools to let users shoot, slice and splice together their own multimedia masterpieces. Once satisfied with the final cut, all it takes is another simple touch to upload and share experiences with loved ones.

The full studio of entertainment on offer includes a dynamic HVGA 3-inch LCD for true-to-life viewing of friends’ videos with DivX and Xvid support, and the added convenience of a 3.5-mm audio jack for more enjoyable multi-tainment.

On the other hand, Motorola recently started its offensive against the i-Phone by unveiling the Droid, an android phone. The new model features high-speed Web browsing, voice-activated search, customizable large screen, access to thousands of Android applications and hundreds of widgets and an advanced 3G mobile network.

Droid by Motorola delivers a rich consumer experience with warp-speed Web browsing, a mammoth screen, and Motorola’s expertise in design and voice quality. “Combined with Android’s open, flexible graphical user interface and the power of Verizon Wireless’ 3G network, Droid is a smartphone that simply doesn’t compromise. The new handset has a solid exterior, intelligent interior and is one of the thinnest full- Qwerty slider phones available,” said a Motorola executive during its launch ceremony.

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