- Will only KT sell the iPhone or will it be sold by competing service providers as well?
- When will Android-based phones show up in the South Korean market and which service providers will offer them?
- Will VOIP services like Skype be allowed on the iPhone and Android phones? (presumably because Skype is already being used on iPod Touch here in Korea).
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and press all around the world are reporting that the Korean government has removed the last legal hurdles to sale of Apple's iPhone in the South Korean market. Assuming the reports are all true and that that the iPhone will go on sale here later this year, this is good news, but it is only the beginning of a big shakeup in the mobile communications market in South Korea. Watch what happens in relation to the following questions.
An article in the Korea Times contains some interesting bits of information about SK Telecom's new Apps Store. Among the key points are:
- It is a "me-too" effort, modeled after the great success of Apple's online App store.
- The only way apps can currently be downloaded is through SK Telecom's own fixed data rate plans. Those not subscribed will have to pay on a per-packet basis, 3.5 won per kilobyte. So downloading the 1,349-kilobyte ``2009 Pro Baseball'' mobile game, one of the most popular programs made available on T-Store, will cost users nearly 5,000 won for network usage, in addition to paying 3,000 won for the game itself.
- The article quotes bloggers who note that SK Telecom only wants to make as much money as possible, and is not interested in improving the smart-phone experience of users.
- SK Telecom remains concerned that free internet capabilities (via Wi-Fi) on their phones would lead to VOIP calls on the handsets and thus cut into their voice revenue!!