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2008 Top 10 News on Korean Technology Market: Part 1

Posted: December 31st, 2008, by Yunho Chung

I picked 2008 top 10 news at Korean Technology market as follow.

1. WIPI is gone

As I posted already, KCC released the duty of loading WIPI by next  April. This will affect mobile operator as well as mobile device manufacturer. It seems to be more foreign mobile device like iPhone or Blackberry will be launched in Korea next year due to this releasing.

2. Global companies rush to Korea

Beginning from Youtube’s expansion to Korea last January, Myspace and Facebook also extended their business to Korean market this year. Youtube Korea currently ranked top 10 among Korean video site, as well as ranked top 5 during the candlelight vigil on May. Google Korea initially launched localized service as map service in Korea and merged Korean internet company, TNC. EA, I think, is doing business in Korea pretty well and merged Korean game comapny, J2M recently. However, Myspace and Facebook have suffered in Korean market, while Cyworld, the leading SNS in Korea, is having 20 million unique visitor per month.

3. Touch screen phone makes huge hit

Even though Apple’s iPhone didn’t come to Korea, phone having similar feature like iPhone hit the Korean mobile market. Samsung’s Haptic has been sold more than 1.5 million for 8 months and LG’s touch UI phones also have been sold a lot this year inspite of their high prices.

Touch UI appealed to customer becuase of easy interface to use not only phone itself but mobile internet. And now these trends are continuing to interets for smart phone. While KCC recently announced to release the duty of loading WIPI on the mobile phone by next April, the interests for smart phone such as iPhone or Blacberry is getting bigger than before. I guess that touch screen phone wave in mobile market will continue to smart phone next year.

4. IPTV is rising

From last November, the first commercial IPTV service, KT’s Mega TV has began in Korea. Actually many experts thought that it would be difficult to launch commercial IPTV service this year because broadcasting agreement between broadcasts and IPTV providers was facing rough. However Korean government eager to make IPTV successful as Korean next growth engine, other IPTV operators also will provide commercial service by next January.

5. VoIP is becoming the Defacto

I also posted about VoIP market growth in Korea previously. As number portability for VoIP has began, VoIP for home market has increased and is forecasted to grow more next year. As following chart, PSTN subscribers are decreasing and expected to get decrease more and more while people are moving to VoIP.

VoIP will displace PSTN eventually. This threatens KT, the leading player in PSTN market, but gives an opportunity to other players such as LG Powercom and SK Broadband.

2008 Top 10 news is continued at Part 2. Click this here to read.

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    The article about global companies doing business in Korea is quite interesting even though I think it’s a bit lacking in content. It doesn’t say anything about SNS apart from Facebook, MySpace and Cyworld but there are a lot of other SNS, right?
    Anyway, I like to make friends with lots of Korean natives as I want to speak Korean well and I’ve found another SNS called Lingueo.com. It’s totally different from the various SNS the article talks about and it’s growing in Korea.
    Anyway, thanks for all the information you provide, it’s really helpful :)

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