Since going on sale in South Korea 2 weeks ago, the iPhone has stormed out of the gate in impressive fashion, racking up about 90,000 new subscribers for KT Corp, South Korea’s second largest mobile carrier. On launch day alone, reports indicate that over 60,000 units were sold, with 53,000 of those being pre-orders. The iPhone’s entry into South Korea had been delayed up until recently when South Korean lawmakers changed a longstanding law which made it almost impossible to sell mobile phones that weren’t manufactured by local companies like Samsung and LG, which not surprisingly, together comprise over 90% of the market there. But now that the iPhone is in the mix, the device has become an instant hit, forcing KT Corp to order more iPhones from Apple in order to meet “unprecedented demand”, according to a recent report in the Korea Times.
In the third quarter of 2009, South Koreans purchased about 400,000 smartphone, and with Apple’s iPhone securing 90,000 new users, the iPhone’s share of that figure comes in at an impressive 22.5%. Even more impressive is that this was achieved in just 2 weeks.
The iPhone’s success in South Korea has also been boosted by the fact that consumers had naturally grown weary of phones limited to local companies who were able to coast on what was essentially a government mandated monopoly on the market.