To readers of this blog, please know that I'm still alive and well. It is just that I've been a bit busy with other things at work and at home and have not been able to post much in the last several weeks. However, I have been following the press and the trade publications that cover South Korea's IT sector and cannot help but comment on the overall response to the popularity, worldwide and in Korea, of products being sold by Google and Apple.
Today, for example, The Korea Times carried a report that LG was about to unveil the "1st Smart TV." This would be a television set equipped with "Netcast 2.0" for web-connected televisions. This move by LG was clearly a response to moves by Apple and Google, along with its Korean arch-rival Samsung.
The situation is somewhat similar with smart-phones and notepad sized devices. Samsung and LG are scrambling to come out with their own devices that might compete with Apple's iPhone and Android-based digital devices.
What is the common denominator in all of the reports I'm reading? It is simply that South Korea is still heavily reliant on the manufacture of communications hardware, rather than content or software. It is the latter that not only makes up the bulk of the global ICT market, but also represents the major hurdle for Korea to continue its remarkable advance as an "IT Powerhouse" or a knowledge economy. The transition to greater emphasis on software and content in Korea has begun, but it will be a long-term challenge for the country to succeed. This challenge will be the subject of future posts.