S. Korea approves sales of iPhone | Shanghai Daily

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September 24, 2009

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S. Korea approves sales of iPhone

SOUTH Korea's telecommunications regulator said yesterday that it has given approval for Apple's iPhone to be sold in the country - potentially shaking up a handset market controlled by domestic manufacturers.

The Korea Communications Commission approved sales of the device at a meeting attended by its five commissioners.

The iPhone has been eagerly awaited in South Korea, where the handset market is dominated by Samsung Electronics Co, LG Electronics Inc and other domestic manufacturers.

Apple spokesman Steve Park said nothing was decided or planned on the iPhone's release in South Korea.

Local service providers, however, said they were in talks with Apple regarding the iPhone.

"We will try to release the iPhone as soon as possible," said Yeom Woo-jong, a spokesman for KT Corp. Yeom said discussions with Apple were under way.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing KT officials, said the company planned to start selling iPhones next month. Lauren Kim, a spokeswoman for SK Telecom Co, also said it was in discussions with Apple.

South Korean law requires companies providing location-based services - such as maps and finding directions - to obtain government permission, said Oh Sang-jin, director of the KCC's privacy protection and ethics division.

The commission decided that to facilitate the iPhone's entry, local telecommunication service providers can obtain permission on Apple's behalf, Oh said.

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