updated 09:40 am EDT, Tue April 14, 2009
Korean iPhone progress
Apple has little active interest in releasing a South Korean iPhone, claims a regional news site. Telecoms Korea cites KTF's VP of handset strategy, Won-Do Lee, who comments that while his carrier is in negotiations with Apple, progress appears to have stalled in part because of a lack of motivation on Apple's part. KTF has objections of its own though, Lee observes.
The iPhone 3G is, for instance, no longer state-of-the-art, which means that KTF will likely have to wait for a new iPhone in order to have a strong competitor for local phones from the likes of LG and Samsung. Of greater significance may be the newfound weakness of the won against the US dollar, which means that even a stripped-down iPhone could become too expensive relative to other options.
KTF is meanwhile negotiating with Finland's Nokia in order to bring over some of its smartphones. South Korea has effectively been closed to foreign cellphones for years, because of regulations requiring native middleware. While the regulations have been altered, it may take some time before foreign companies gain some of the traction domestic corporations have enjoyed.