Tuesday, June 8, 2010

(UPDATED) iPhone 4 coming to Korea in July 2010

As promised, the South Korea release date is the big news for those back in the ROK. I like how Steve Jobs's head forms the o in Korea. I don't like how they alphabetize South Korea as if South is a part of the name, like South Africa, South Carolina, or South Dakota.

Anyhoo, Korea is not part of the first group (the US, UK, France, Germany, and Japan) that will start getting the iPhone 4 on June 24, but it is specifically listed as one of the G18 that gets it a few weeks later.

Apple and KT had to go through a bunch of hoops and hurdles to get the iPhone into the country in the first place, with the 3Gs being the high-end at the time. Since those hoops and hurdles — including establishing service and contracts — have already been passed, it will probably be a lot smoother for the iPhone 4 to enter the market.

Many of those patient users in Korea who finally got a 3Gs were rewarded with some very sweet deals that made the phone nearly free (by contrast, I paid $199 plus tax for mine in Hawaii), but they may be kicking themselves for not having waited a few months longer for the iPhone 4.

I'm not sure how long 3Gs users will have to go through their contract before they can buy a subsidized iPhone 4, but I suspect now is not the time. It's also not clear if iPhone 4 buyers will enjoy the same sweet deals that the 3Gs buyers did.

We'll have to see. All I'm doing is pointing out that the iPhone 4 is reportedly going to ship to South Korea next month.

Oh, and it has a Samsung chip inside (just like the iPad), so that's another Korea thing.

UPDATE (July 17, 2010):
Because they're waiting for ROK government approval, Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone 4 won't be released in South Korea during the second wave, as originally planned. Hopefully it won't be too much longer, but we're looking at least into August.

UPDATE 2 (September 5, 2010):
Korea Telecom (KT) has just announced a release date of Friday, September 10, for the release of the iPhone 4. We're going to hold them to that.

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4 comments:

  1. Yipee! Except I expect the same hoohaa from KT when it comes to upgrading 6 months into one's contract that occurred trying to get the 3Gs - and $199 on contract - not if you're on an E2!
    Actually I'm not all that impressed - incremental upgrades at best - had a front facing camera on my blackjack II and blackjack III for years and never used it.
    More interesting what does this mean for iPad in Korea, I'm thinking of getting one in Japan over Summer, but they're locked to softbank...decisions decisions...

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  2. Stafford wrote:
    Yipee! Except I expect the same hoohaa from KT when it comes to upgrading 6 months into one's contract that occurred trying to get the 3Gs - and $199 on contract - not if you're on an E2!

    Well, let me say up front that I think it's probably going to be difficult and expensive for anyone who recently bought a 3Gs to upgrade to a 4 after just six months. Here in the US, AT&T has allowed those who would eventually be eligible sometime in 2010 to be eligible now, but I don't know if KT will do that. KT sort of took a bath on all the iPhone subsidies, so I don't know how willing they'd be to let someone upgrade after they've recouped so little of their loss, and it won't have anything to do with visa status.

    In the meantime, though, you can enjoy the iOS4 upgrade.

    Actually I'm not all that impressed - incremental upgrades at best - had a front facing camera on my blackjack II and blackjack III for years and never used it.

    Like with a lot or Apple features where they're not first through the gate, they may be doing it better, which is what I suspect here.

    And I suspect that the full raft of features makes it more deserving than just being considered a mere upgrade.

    I forewent the 3Gs, since my 3G was only a year old at the time, but I will be getting this one. Two years with one iPhone is a good run, methinks. I might give the old one to my mother and have her get a $15/month low-use data package, at least until Christmas when, if I have the money, I'll get her an iPhone 4.

    More interesting what does this mean for iPad in Korea, I'm thinking of getting one in Japan over Summer, but they're locked to softbank...decisions decisions...

    Can't you just get one without a data plan? I'm sure the wifi-only ones don't need a data plan, but even if you get one that's 3G, maybe KT or someone can set you up. I'd contact someone at Apple in Korea and ask them what they think about "my hypothetical friend" who brings in their 3G-equipped iPad from "hypothetical New Zealand."

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  3. And please let us know, just hypothetically...

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  4. Indeed I will enjoy new iOS 4 on he current phone, The Gold Master was finally available at about lunchtime here in Korea, so if I have half an hour over the weekend I might install it.

    And yes your not the first to suggest that although certain things have been around for a while Apple will be the one to make it mainstream - although I can't figure out the Face Time over wifi only - that might just be in The States - KT's more robust infrastructure (vis-a-vis AT&T) might make it possible over 3G. A friend of mine who had a 3Gs in San Francisco and now one in Korea said his experience in Korea is how the iPhone should really be.
    And as for the iPad, with some further research Japanese iPads are NOT locked to Softbank but may still require an initial Prepaid commitment before coming back to korea and cutting up my KT sim card: http://www.neoearly.net/2464060

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