Sunday, November 29, 2009

The iPhone is now here....where are the Android Phones?

The absence of the Apple iPhone in Korea's market was only a symptom of what was happening here.  Somehow, Korea's three mobile service providers (KT, SKT and LGT), its leading handset manufacturers (Samsung and LG Electronics) and the government managed to allow the domestic market to ignore a clear worldwide trend toward mobile broadband internet.  Now it appears they are going to pay the price.
All of the news these days is about the arrival (yesterday) of Apple's iPhone in the Korean market.   However, a much more significant development is around the corner.  It is the arrival of Android phones, manufactured by Korea's own companies, Samsung and LG, as well as Motorola, and a number of other companies around the world.  Yet there is very little specific news appearing about the release of Android phones here, despite the fact that Samsung released its first Android model in the European market months ago.
In short, despite the euphoria for some of the iPhone's arrival here in South Korea, it appears that it may take another year or two for this market to catch up with global trends. There are many ironies at play here, but this seems to be the consequence of  an exclusive focus on Korean language applications, services and software in this market.

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