Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blackberry in South Korea?

An article in today's Korea Times proclaims "Doors to Blackberry Yanked Open." The article notes that "The government partially lifted its ban on the Canadian-made BlackBerry handsets in time for the visit of the handset maker's chief executive to the OECD Ministerial Meeting to be held in Seoul next month. The ban on BlackBerry has been criticized as a typical example of a non-tariff barrier by foreign businessmen here. BlackBerry is a hybrid mobile phone and palm-sized computer, specialized in e-mailing and personal scheduling. First introduced in 1997, it has become an essential tool for businesspeople around the world because of its ability to receive e-mails real-time. RIM says that there are more than 14 million subscribers in the world. Korea was one of few countries where it was not available, partly because it did not meet a technical specification imposed by the government, which was set up in favor of domestic phone makers such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. In addition, local mobile operators had little incentive to introduce the Blackberry here as the need for mobile e-mailing was not very high, as the country has Internet access on every other corner of the street in the form of Internet cafes and public PCs. " Consult the full article for further details.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim! Thanks for the interesting post. I've been wondering about the low popularity of mobile emailing in Korea.

    I agree that it is also because of the availability of PC bangs and such but do you think it might have something to do with the way Koreans relate to email per se as a medium? I read somewhere that Koreans feel emailing is already an outdated mode of communication.

    Also, perhaps the lack of mobile emailing might have something to do with the high cost.