Sunday, March 7, 2010

Korean Mobile Operators Prodded to Create Unified App Store

As reported by The Korea Times today, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) is prodding the nation's three mobile telephony carriers to create a unified application store, to meet competition from Apple's iPhone.  Handset vendors Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which each run their own online applications store, will also be allowed a chance to join in the planned alliance between mobile carriers, the KCC said.
I encourage readers to take a close look at this article in The Korea Times.  In reading it, note that two subjects are not mentioned:

  • One is the inherently global scope of the internet.  Does the KCC suggest that Korea's mobile carriers and handset manufacturers team up for success in the global market or only here in the domestic South Korean market?
  • The second subject is the role of language in creation of internet applications and content.  Although progress is being made toward "machine translation," applications (apps) for the mobile internet still need to surmount language barriers.  Language is central to culture, and applications that may appeal to people within the bounds of Korean culture and language may still fail in Western or other markets around the globe.  Witness the failure to export Cyworld to the United States market, despite the fact that this social networking innovation arrived in Korea years before Facebook showed up in the U.S.
Part of Google's success is that it attempts to provide its applications in all of the world's languages.  I think Korean companies can mimic Google in this respect, to their great benefit.

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