1. Samsung has released its latest Galaxy S5 smartphone and wearables in 125 countries around the world as it battles squeezed profits and challenges to its top market position. Such a large simultaneous launch is the biggest of its kind for any of its previous products. The previous generation S4, the best selling android phone ever, started selling in 60 countries, and the Note 3 was first released in 58 countries.
2. South Korea's ICT exports grew 8.9 percent from a year earlier, last month, on growing shipments to both advanced and newly emerging countries, the government said Thursday. Outbound shipments of ICT products came to US$14.98 billion in March, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. Imports surged 10.3 percent on-year to $7.43 billion, but the sector's trade surplus widened to $7.55 billion from $7.02 billion in March 2013.
3. LG Electronics Inc.'s quarterly smartphone sales are likely to reach an all-time high in the April-June period this year, industry analysts in Korea have said, due mainly to improved sales of its low-end lineup. The South Korea's No. 2 smartphone maker is expected to sell 15 million units in the second quarter, the data released by Mirae Asset Securities Co. showed.
4. South Korea's top internet portal operator, Naver Corp., said that its free messenger application LINE broke the 400-million download mark as more overseas users chose the service to connect with one another. The milestone came four months after it had drawn 300 million users as of November last year. LINE was launched in June 2011, but still has not been able to penetrate the Korean market, thanks to exceptional competition from KakaoTalk, now valued at over $3Bn.
5. The mobile application market powered by Google Inc. will assist South Korean game developers in tapping deeper into overseas markets, the local unit of the Internet giant said Monday, on the back of the platform's foray into the contents industry. "The Google Play ecosystems in Korea rely on great Korean developers making great apps," said Chris Yerga, who oversees the platform business, adding that 17 out of the top 20 most downloaded apps in the country were games.
6. South Korea's telecom ministry said Monday more teenagers became addicted to smartphones in 2013 from a year earlier, adding it will roll out a set of preventive measures and induce those addicted to become less reliant on smart devices. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning's move came as its latest survey showed 11.8 percent of South Koreans used their smartphones excessively and were categorized as the "addiction-risk" group, which is feared to have an adverse impact on their daily lives and eventually eat into the country's economy.
7. South Korean chipmaker Samsung Electronics Co. retained the No. 2 spot in the world's semiconductor market for the second consecutive year in 2013, bridging the gap with market leader Intel Corp., industry data has showed. According to the data by industry tracker IHS iSuppli, Samsung's chip sales rose 8.2 percent on-year to US$33.82 billion last year, with its global market share rising to 10.6 percent from 10.3 percent.
News items sourced from Yonhap News