updated 11:10 am EDT, Mon July 5, 2010
Would add country's second iOS device carrier
South Korea's biggest cellular carrier, SK Telecom, is in talks with Apple to carry both the iPad and the iPhone, according to the former's CEO, Man-won Jung. When either device might arrive is uncertain. The Wall Street Journal quotes Jung as saying that SK is "worried," given "noises about problems" with the iPhone 4. The comment is likely a reference to reception problems experienced by a number of early adopters.
If a deal is completed, it will finally give Koreans access to a second iPhone carrier. The device has been sold exclusively by KT in the region since November 2009, generating over 732,000 in sales. It might also give the country its first iPad carrier, as KT continues to go without the tablet. If SK does get the product, however, Apple will likely allow KT to offer sales and/or data plans at the same time.
The iPad has been a subject of some controversy in South Korea. Personal imports were temporarily banned, but this quickly became untenable when a number of famous Koreans were identified as owners. Eventually, even the government's own minister of culture was spotted using one during a presentation. At the moment, it remains illegal to import iPads in bulk.