Top Weekly Tech News Highlights From Korea
11월 3, 2014

Korea, Still A Huge Opportunity For E-Commerce

The amount of mobileshopping transactions is growing at an explosive pace. The mobile shopping transaction volume achieved more than 100% growth compared to a year ago, reaching near 4 trillion won (a little less than $400 million) in the third quarter of this year.

According to the OnlineShopping Trend report released by the National Statistical Office on October 31, the volume of total online shopping amounted to 11.37 trillion won in thethird quarter of this year, up 17.8% from a year ago and up 7.5% from a quarter ago.

Edited from original on Hankyung News

Samsung's Low-cost Phones For China Hit Stores 

Samsung Electronics Co. rolled out a range of lower-tier smartphones last Friday. The 'Galaxy A Series'is an attempt to keep its market position in China against rising stars there, such as Huawei and Xiaomi (the latter just having overtaken LG as the world's third largest manufacturer of smartphones). It is also seen as a move to counter the populartiy of the iPhone 6.

According to industry sources on Oct. 26, three Galaxy A series handsets with LTE features will be introduced to the Chinese market as early as this month under the names of Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A7.

The 5-inch Galaxy A5 and 4.5-inch Galaxy A3 are equipped with a 5.0 megapixel digital camera and have a metallic exterior that comes in six different colors, including pink, blue and gold, the tech bellwether said. The variety of colors and the appearance are mainly designed to target young consumers.

Edited from original stories on Business Korea and Yonhap News

LG's Curved OLED TVs Selling Well

LG Electronics' curved OLED TVs are selling briskly. The company said on November 2 that the sales number of its 55-inch OLED TV that it launched at the end of September this year has exceeded 1,000 within one month. This is almost comparable that of its LCD TVs. The company explained this is largely due to its price cut below the 4-million-won level.

Naturally OLED panels' yield has been quite low comparing to that of LCD panels, which is why OLED TVs were more expensive than LCD TVs. The curved 55-inch OLED TV that LG unveiled early last year was sold at 15 million won (US$14,000), more than five times more expensive than the same-class LCD TV. however, recently LG Electronics has increased OLED investment aggressively, which raised the yield and lowered the price.

Edited from original on Hankyung News

iPhone 6 Hits Korean Market

South Korean mobile carriers released the new iPhone 6 series last Friday. This comes as the local smartphone market readies for tougher competition between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Chinese handset makers are also readying Korean market entry.

Market leader SK Telecom Co., its rival KT Corp. and smaller player LG Uplus Inc. released the 16-gigabyte iPhone 6 at a factory price of $749 and the 64-gigabyte model at around $900.

Edited from original post on Yonhap News

Despite Apple's Popularity in Korea, No Official Apple Stores

Apple is continuing to keep its investment in Korea to a minimum, despite Korean consumers’ enthusiasm for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple announced on Oct. 26 that it is going to set up 25 more Apple Stores in China within two years in addition to the 15 already open. However, the company is not running any Apple Store in Korea, although it has done business in the country for five years. Instead, Apple Premium Resellers (APRs) such as Frisbee, eMart Apple Shop, and A Sharp are in charge of the supply and sale of its products in Korea.

Edited from original on Business Korea

Download Speeds Increase in Korea With 'B-Giga' Broadband

SK Broadband announced on October 30 that it will launch the “B Giga Internet” service.This service offers the speed of 1 gigabyte per second, about ten times faster than that of existing optical LAN service which has the speed of 100 megabytes per second.

The B Giga Internet service takes just eight seconds to download a 1-GB video file.SK Broadband’s Giga Internet service will consist of “B Giga Internet Light (500Mbps)” and “B Giga Internet (1Gbps),” plus an optional service “B Giga Wi-Fi (standard type, 300Mbps).”

Edited from original on Hankyung News

Samsung's Profits Tumble

Samsung reported that its third-quarter profit fell to the lowest level in three years. These poor results have been blamed on waning sales of flagship smartphones, as it faces challenges ahead in competing with smaller Chinese startups and long-time rival Apple Inc.

Net profit reached 4.22 trillion won (US$4.01 billion) in the July-September period, down 48.7 percent from 8.24 trillion won the previous year, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Edited from original on Yonhap News

LG Electronics Sales Figures 'Way Up' In Q3

Successes in LG’s smartphone business has led the company to achieve the best quarterly figures for five years. Third quarter sales amounted to $14.1 billion, while the operating profit reached $437.7 million.

The operating profit has increased by 111 percent compared to that of the same period last year, exceeding the market prediction that was $417.4 million. A company spokesman stated that the 'smartphone business contributed to the improvement of sales and operating profits'.

Its mobile communication (MC) division recorded sales of $4.030 billion and operating profit of $158.8 million. The sales recovered back to a $3.79 billion level in five years, and the operating profit was highest after the third quarter in 2009 ($364.6 million).

Edited from original on Business Korea

Samsung Releases 'Gear Circle'

Samsung Electronics released a necklace-type wearable“Gear Circle” at the price of 109,000 won on October 29.The Gear Circle combines the features of a headset which enables users to listen to their favorite songs and make phone calls, with a mobile voice guide function. The Gear Circle also boasts an intuitive design and portability.

The smart magnetic control function allows users to receive the call by detaching the connection part of the necklace which is mounted with a magnet sensor, while hanging up the call by attaching it.

Edited from original on Hankyung News

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