updated 01:30 pm EDT, Fri August 7, 2009
iPhone coming to Korea
The iPhone has finally been confirmed for a Korean introduction through the local carrier KT, according to Telecoms Korea. A separate company, SK Telecom, also claims to have been involved in talks with Apple. It remains unclear, however, if Apple plans to offer the smartphone through multiple carriers instead of establishing an exclusive deal.
Apple has allegedly been involved in talks with the Korean carriers for over a year. Initial plans were obstructed by a requirement for handsets to utilize the local software standard, WIPI. Government regulators agreed to remove the requirement late last year, however.
Despite the relaxed requirements for software, a KT executive in April claimed Apple was to blame for stalling the process. The carrier was also said to have voiced its own objections at the time.
"Apple iPhone will be in our smartphone line-up," said Kim Yeon-hak, KT's CFO. "[We expect that the] iPhone will help to expand the smartphone market and will contribute to increasing the ARPU" (average revenue per user).
The executive declined to provide further detials regarding launch dates or pricing.