Two interesting articles caught my eye today. The first one, in The Wall Street Journal's Digits by Jonathan Cheng noted that, once again "In Samsung Country, iPhone 6 Fans will have to wait." The article traces a bit of history, including the two and a half year delay before the original iPhone reached Korea after its U.S. launch in June of 2007. Back then, Korea's mobile service providers, handset manufacturers and even the government had reasons for delay in welcoming the iPhone. Those days are gone, but some speculate that the reason for iPhone 6's delayed arrival in Korea is because this country has stricter regulatory procedures than some other nations.
The second article, in The Korea Times, is an interview with a senior Google executive entitled "Android thriving on openness, accessibility." According to the article, "A senior Google executive said the Android operating system will continue to evolve and remain competitive on the strength of its openness and easy accessibility.
Sundar Pichai, Google senior vice president and Android chief, said the company's commitment to startup entrepreneurs will strengthen the Android ecosystem." Google recently decided to open a startup-incubating center in Gangnam, one of Seoul's trendiest districts, because of the Korean mobile industry's growth potential, he said. "When we were looking for cities in which to open a campus in Asia, we all believed what's happening in Korea and in Seoul with the mobile industry is breathtaking," he said.
"Korea is now one of the top five countries in terms of the number of Android developers. We looked at that, and we realized that given how everyone in Korea has access to smartphones, some of the most important ideas are going to come out of Korea in the future. We wanted to be a part of it."
In fact, the open source nature of Google's Android platform is the major factor that differentiates it from Apple's closed system. Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard, author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, would call the iPhone "sterile" and the Android platform "generative." Companies, large and small, in Korea should take note.