According to The Chosen Ilbo, iPhone sales in South Korea reached a cumulative 700K last weekend according to Korea Telecom, the exclusive carrier. KT has sold an average of 4K units per day since the iPhone has been launched last year in late November. That makes it about six months for a 350-360K per quarter run rate, an impressive number given the entire smartphone market in South Korea is about 400-500K per quarter. Interestingly there are very few smartphones in South Korea.
LGE sells just a single model on its 019 telecom service (which is the carrier I have), at least at the local LGE megastore. Samsung seems to be focused on its OMNIA smartphone brand (at least at local stores), which I don’t think will go anywhere since it is based on WinMo 6.5. There are few others with Motorola’s Android-based MOTOROI being advertised heavily, especially in high foot traffic areas such as the COEX Mall.
The iPhone is doing well but overall Android smartphones have just started to outsell the iPhone in South Korea. In the first week of May there were a total of 28,900 Android-based smartphones sold. In the same timeframe 25,700 iPhones were sold. The Android smartphones include: Samsung Galaxy A (20,000), Pantech Sirius (5,600), and LG Andro-1 (3,300). Hopefully South Korea will get the new iPhone as soon as it is announced some time in June.
The Galaxy A (SHW-M100S) from Samsung is the first Android-based smartphone in South Korea sporting a 3.7-inch 800×480 AMOLED, 5MP camera, 720p video recording, WiFi N, GPS, powered by a 800MHz CPU and has the requisite T-DMB (Terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) tuner for watching TV on-the-go. The Galaxy A was just launched in March and is available on SK Telecom.
An updated Galaxy S (GT-I9000 in the US) that sports Samsung Mobile Display’s slightly larger 4.0-inch Super AMOLED with a faster 1GHz CPU has been officially announced with a worldwide availability soon. The Super AMOLED has less surface reflection than the previous non-Super versions and an improved touch response. The company’s mDNIe (mobile Digital Natural Image engine), the mobile version of the image engine used in Samsung’s TVs, has been integrated into the Galaxy S. Hopefully the engine wont blow out colors.