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Usage Patterns of Korea iPhone users

Posted: April 5th, 2010, by Yunho Chung

Four months ago, on 28 November 2009, iPhone was launched in Korea by KT(Korea Telecom), South Korea’s second-largest mobile carrier, through an exclusive contract with Apple. The launch of Apple’s iPhone has brought dramatic changes into mobile, internet service, and other related areas in South Korea. There are many things to talk about, but today I want to introduce a very interesting report I found yesterday, which is titled “iPhone subscribers’ apps user attitude and inclination analysis” from KT Economics and Management research lab(Digieco) run by KT.

Most sought for App in Korea
According to the report, iPhone users in Korea have an average of 86 apps on 6.3 pages of their iPhone. The observed apps with highest utilization and paid purchases were productivity enhancing products and camera devices, whereas the most often used app in Korea was shown to be “Daum Map“. Korea also covers 1% of Appstore Application usage.

[Current App Status in Korea : Preferences according to age group]

Translated by Veyond Partners


Popular Korean apps mentioned above:

  • Daum Map/Naver Map (free): Helps you track your current location, providing you a road/sky view, and directions for public transportation, restaurants, banks etc
  • Seoul Bus (free): Provides you local bus information, showing every stop along the bus line, and real time information on where each bus is positioned, for Seoul, Incheon and nearby Gyeonggi-do areas
  • Naver Webtoon (free): You can view webtoons(internet cartoons) with live update. You can also download your favorites, and view them offline for up to 48 hours
  • Package-delivery (free): You can locate your package and delivery schedule info by simply entering the delivery service company and delivery number
  • Naver Wingbus Seoul restaurant (free): You can search for popular restaurants and food by location. Provides price range, opening hours, and phone number
  • Navigator (free): Using spatial data, it can capture and track your movement when you are outdoors, and can provide you a map of surrounding info and distance
  • iKorway (paid): Provies you detailed info of the Korean subway, including arrival and departure station search, time, station surroundings, exit info, restrooms, door open info(L/R), station office info and telephone number

……… Naver Map                      Seoul Bus             Wingbus Seoul Restaurant


From the report of app preferences, we could observe the difference in attitudes, interest, and purchases of free/paid apps according to age groups.


Inclination & attitude across Age groups
10s – As students with limited finance, and a relatively limited social scale, they make most use out of entertainment apps, public transportation info, and camera devices

20s – Actively seeking to expand their social network, SNS apps such as Skype, and Whatsapp are most frequently used

30s – High interest in convenient calling techniques and arranging contact list with apps such as spDial, Kontacts etc. Also shows high usage of search and downloads, with Appstore often located on their quick Dock menu.

40s– They show high preference for productivity enhancing apps such as Awesome note and Korean Calendar, and they often have Mail on their quick Dock menu, making full use of their iphone services

In general, Koreans show high inclination towards the use of maps, public transportation, and communication applications. I believe further developed SNS (Social Networking Services), productivity enhancing services (such as Awesome notes), and camera applications show promising marketability for Korean iphone users. Korea has also surpassed Japan in iPhone user growth by its 500,000 user increase within 4 months, whereas Japan took 7 months to accumulate 500,000 users. Much more interesting news on iPhone usage in Korea will be featured in Korean Insight.

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