The iPhone officially went on sale in China at the end of October and in Japan in summer last year, but many people in one important Asian market were still waiting for it the whole time: Korea. After getting the official government approval in mid-November, the country’s number two mobile carrier, KT Corporation, started rolling out the iPhone on November 28. And it can be happy about a pretty successful roll-out.
Between 60,000 and 65,000 iPhone 3GS were reportedly pre-ordered in the first week. This is pretty impressive in a country, which is as over-saturated with high-quality domestic phones as Japan (where the iPhone sells pretty well, too) and where the percentage of smartphone users is said to stand at the one percent level. In fact, media reports suggest KT Corporation was totally overwhelmed by the interest and couldn’t handle the pre-orders properly.
Koreans have to pay $340 for the 32GB iPhone 3GS, provided they agree to the $39 fee for the cheapest monthly plan KT Corporation offers for it. The 8GB model costs $115 under the same condition and can be free when users sign for more expensive monthly rates. Every Korean iPhone customer will be able to use KT Corporation’s 13,000 Wi-Fi spots all over the country for no cost.
I am really wondering how the iPhone renders Korean websites though (many of those are Internet Explorer-only).