The article in the Joongang Daily about the Apple iPhone launch in Korea is better read in reverse. Step back in time with the bottom paragraph:
“The important thing about the iPhone’s launch here is not that a certain popular brand has finally been introduced to Korea but that it will be a catalyst for the local smartphone market to grow,” [Hwang Sung-jin, an analyst at Prudential Life Insurance] said,
Thats odd. When I was over there, I read, before the iPhone, Korean phone companies were on the cutting edge. That Korean 3G system and mobile technologies were the envy of the world. Everyone in the world feverishly wanted to implement DMB or whatever permutation of CDMA Korea had. Why would Korea need to spur the “local smartphone market”? Going up, you find out:
KT’s announcement comes after the nation’s telecom regulator gave Apple Korea the green light to launch the phone here last Thursday, making an exception to the law that requires handsets sold in Korea to use domestic locating technology.
“Exception”? “Use domestic locating technology”? Yes take note your anti-globalization weenies, trade barriers actually HURT your competitiveness, not help it. Korea’s cell market might as well be a textbook case. Of course take note this transparent demonstration of the ills of non-tariff barriers is lost on Korean regulators. They chose to give an “exception” not the wiser course of getting rid of the barrier all together.
Speaking of transparency and wisdom, you got to love who will get the first iPhones in Korea:
[KT] will hold a launching event for around 1,000 preorder customers picked through a drawing in Jamsil Indoor Stadium in Seoul. It added that it also plans to include interested people who have not preordered iPhones in the event.
So let me get this straight, somebody who did not give you money early for a iPhone may not get it at the expense of did not give money. Great customer service! The last provision also makes one wonder how legitimate that drawing is, but I am sure that worry is not well founded.