Korean iPhone, for now the government says no
The launch of the Korean iPhone on standby and no one can say when it will happen. This is what is learned from the Korea Times, a local newspaper published in English. Apple and KTF, the second local mobile operator, have been negotiating for some time and would also have agreed on a general plan for the presentation of the phone on the local market, but there are several factors that prevent its effective availability to the public.
One of these regulations. The Korean government imposes on all phones with the ability to surf the net (except business ones), the obligation to support the WIPI, or Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability. Initially introduced as a system to facilitate and standardize the Internet connection standard, the technology has become a de facto protection system for local producers; very few (if any) of the global telephony players invest money to implement this middleware only for the Korean market (20 million units per year overall), with the result that the Samsung and LG premises are in control of 90% of the sales. A movement, also pushed by mobile operators who would like to have more choice to check lower prices in the supply of phones, pushes towards the elimination of the norm, but for now the law is still firm and this prevents the marketing of the Apple mobile phone. At the same time, it should also be noted that no one in the local government seems too worried about canceling the law to give the go-ahead to the iPhone which, in fact, has a significant adverse current.
In any case, as a KTF spokesman points out if the government were to cancel tomorrow the law that requires support from WIPI and Apple and the mobile operator to rush to sign, it would then take at least two or three months to test the phone on the Korean cellular network and then approve the web applications. In practice, it would not be possible to launch iPhone on the local market before the beginning of 2009.