Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More on the iPhone Shock in Korea's Mobile Sector

Evidence of the shock that the arrival of Apple's iPhone provided to the mobile communications market in Korea continues to accumulate.  As an article in The Korea Times today puts the question, it is "Can Samsung, LG Claw Way Out of iPhone Hole?"   (click on the graphic at left to see a full-size version) Of course, it is not only the iPhone hole, but in a real sense the Android one as well.  The major players in the mobile communications sector here, including service providers, handset manufacturers and the government, somehow managed to delay the arrival of the iPhone and Android phones in this market by approximately two and a half years.   As suggested in many prior posts on this blog, that delay arguably increased the system-wide shock to Korea's domestic mobile market.   Consumers had become accustomed to feature phones and to a heavy reliance on Korean-language only services.  Handsets like the iPhone and Android-based phones, because they bring the internet and location-based services to the palm of your hand, open up a whole new world of possibilities compared with the older feature-phones.  In the long run, this will be good for the Korean market and especially for consumers here.  In the short run it provides a shock!

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