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Korean iPhone date hangs on deregulation efforts

updated 03:35 pm EST, Tue November 4, 2008

Korean iPhone by Dec.?

The release date for a Korean iPhone is now dependent on government deregulation efforts, writes The Korea Times. The Korea Communications Commission is currently debating the future of WIPI, the wireless software standard which any phone in the country is obliged to follow. WIPI is said to effectively block the sale of foreign devices, however, and through negotiations the US government has pressured South Korea into opening up its market.

The latter has in fact been working to scrap WIPI for some time, but has only recently decided to accelerate its efforts, with an aim towards making a ruling before 2009. The major issue is said to be the complex interests of carriers and electronics companies in the country, which have traditionally enjoyed protection from foreign poaching.

The carrier most likely to sell the iPhone in Korea is thought to be KTF, which has spoken publicly about wanting the device, and says it is prepared to move fast should the WIPI obstacle be eliminated. Sources suggest that the iPhone could launch as soon as December, but a KTF representative notes that even if the WIPI ruling arrives in the next few weeks, a December release would be a "huge challenge."

by MacNN Staff



  1. jhawk95

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Which Korea?


    One can assume it is South Korea, but, then again, one shouldn't have to if the writer makes this clear to the reader.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    says South Korea

    in the article.

    Plus, no one can afford an iPhone in N Korea except maybe Kim Jong-Il

    Let's use some common sense here.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Even the starving

    poor in North Korea want iPhones. The South Koreans don't want iPhones because they don't come with video recording or video-conferencing cameras.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    North korea

    Last time I recall hearing, didn't the US ban exports of 'luxury' items, including electronic devices, to north korea to get at Kim's body double because of his love of gadgets and stuff.

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