In a country where Internet addiction is a growing concern and playing StarCraft is considered a sport, South Korea is taking the necessary measures to curb “illegal [and] harmful information” according to NEWSis. The South Korean government is reportedly preparing to block profanity and pornography on smartphones owned by teenagers by installing special software on their devices. The plans, meant to crack down on cyber-bullying, will run the gamut from Twitter to Facebook (FB) – basically everything. It’s unclear if South Korea will implement the ban on tablets as well.
Global 4G LTE smartphone shipments reached 6.8 million units in the technology’s first year. According to a study from market research firm Strategy Analytics, global LTE smartphone shipments could surge tenfold to 67 million units in 2012. It is expected to be a breakout year for LTE technology, with Apple, Samsung, HTC and others planning to launch 4G LTE phones in the United States, Japan and South Korea. “The mobile industry is entering a breakout year for 4G LTE technology. Multiple operators and multiple phone vendors will be launching dozens of LTE models across numerous countries worldwide,” said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. “LTE has quickly become a high-growth, high-value market that no operator, service developer, device vendor or component maker can afford to ignore.” Read on for Strategy Analytics’s press release. More →
Samsung on Wednesday confirmed that it has filed another lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, according to a report from Reuters. Since last year, the two companies have been involved in heated legal battles throughout 10 different countries, racking up more than 30 separate complaints that have been filed. The newest lawsuit targets the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, and Samsung claims both devices infringe three of the company’s “utility” patents, which involve methods of displaying data, a device’s user interface and short text messages. Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs vowed to destroy Android, and since then the Cupertino-based company has been involved in numerous patent disputes with Motorola, HTC and Samsung, the top three Android vendors in the world. More →
With Samsung’s high-end TV sales doing well, the company is now looking to launch cheaper television sets according to Reuters. Demand for lower-end TVs has been on the rise in recent months, with major South Korean retailers teaming up with local manufacturers to provide flat-screen models that are as much as 40% cheaper than Samsung sets. “As long as there’s demand, we’re open to get into that segment,” Samsung’s executive VP of visual display, Kim Hyun-suk said. “We’ve been preparing to introduce cheap models and have been studying to optimize production costs and retail prices. Those models will be ready for sale in one or two months.” Samsung is the world’s largest TV manufacturer and is aiming to sell 50 million units this year, with half of those shipments being Internet-enabled smart TVs. More →
LG announced on Wednesday that it has sold more than 1 million Optimus LTE handsets. A version of the device landed in the United States as the Nitro HD on AT&T, although it’s unclear if that phone is figured into the count. “The combination of LTE connectivity with LG’s True HD IPS display has resonated with the public regarding the potential of LTE technology,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. LG said it sold 600,000 Optimus LTE units during the first three months the phone was available. The company also sold 8,500 units in Japan on the phone’s launch day. The Optimus LTE features a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720-pixel True HD IPS display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera. LG’s full press release follows after the break.
Samsung has sold more than 5 million units of its popular Galaxy S II smartphone in South Korea. The milestone was hit just five months after the phone’s launch. In October, Samsung announced that it had sold more than 30 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S II devices. Variants of the phone are currently available on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the U.S., although Samsung has not yet revealed sales figures for the device here. Samsung also said its South Korea market share was 53% for 2011, according to SammyHub. The phone maker is expected to unveil its Galaxy S III smartphone during the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona next month, and we’ll be bringing you all the news live as it breaks. More →
LG on Wednesday officially announced its Optimus Pad LTE tablet. The device is equipped with an 8.9-inch True HD IPS display that offers a sharp 1280 x 720-pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera, an SD card slot expandable to 32GB, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, HDMI-out and a 6,8000 mAh battery. It’s powered by a dual-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1.5GHz and runs Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), although there is no word if it will be upgraded to the newer Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The Optimus Pad LTE will first make its debut in South Korea but, as was the case with the Optimus LTE, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a U.S. model in the future. Pricing and an exact launch date have not been announced but we expect to hear more during Mobile World Congress next month. LG’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Samsung recently warned employees at its South Korea headquarters that the company will face stiff competition amid a weak economy this year. “The global economy’s low-growth trend will continue and uncertainty surrounding the business environment won’t be easily removed,” Samsung Chairman Lee Kun Hee told his employees according to Bloomerg. The company had a solid 2011, when it sold more than 300 million cell phones for the first time ever. Analysts are also worried about the situation; Park Hyun, an analyst with Tong Yang Securities Inc., said Samsung’s performance is uncertain for 2012. “Potential demand may be there, but whether it will materialize totally depends on the macroeconomic situation,” Hyun explained. Tech isn’t the only industry that’s affected by the economy in South Korea — auto makers are also bracing themselves. “We should make our corporate culture more open, flexible and innovative.” Chung Mong Koo, chairman of Hyundai, also said that he believes the auto industry will also slow this year. More →
Sales of Apple’s iPhone 4S have reportedly been surprisingly slow in South Korea, where wireless customers are reportedly disappointed with the phone’s poor performance and lack of features. The Korea Times on Wednesday said that customers are passing on the iPhone due to problems with the phone’s battery life and the lack of support for 4G LTE. The paper reports that pre-sales of the iPhone 4S have totaled between 150,000 and 300,000 units combined at SK Telecom and Korea Telecom, citing unnamed carrier officials in stating that a number of pre-orders have recently been cancelled. Read on for more. More →
Samsung will not fight for an injunction against the Apple iPhone 4S in South Korea, The Chosun Ilbo, a local newspaper, recently reported. “We concluded that we should engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea,” a senior Samsung executive reportedly told the paper. Samsung is tangled up in legal battles with Apple around the globe, including in Australia, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States. Samsung’s Germany-based subsidiaries are currently banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Despite its decision to not seek an injunction locally, the South Korea-based company is seeking to ban the iPhone 4S in Japan and in Australia; it most recently won access to Apple’s contractual agreements with Australian wireless carriers and 220 pages of the iPhone 4S source code.
Apple’s iPhone 4S is the company’s best smartphone to date, and it’s also the fastest-selling phone Apple has ever launched. Continuing Apple’s mobile warpath, the iPhone 4S will be available in two huge markets in Asia later this month on November 11th. The smartphone will hit Hong Kong and South Korea in addition to 13 additional countries, Apple said on Tuesday. The iPhone 4S is already available in 29 countries, and by the middle of the month, the fastest-selling device in the world will be available in 42 countries total, with more than 70 countries on the list before the end of the year. Apple’s full press release is below. More →
As Apple and Samsung continue to battle incessantly over patents, a new report claims South Korea-based Samsung Electronics is preparing a new offensive that will target Apple’s iPhone 5. Apple has yet to unveil its next-generation iPhone but according to a report from The Korea Times, Samsung is already preparing an attack on the device. “Just after the arrival of the iPhone 5 here, Samsung plans to take Apple to court here for its violation of Samsung’s wireless technology related patents,” an unnamed Samsung executive reportedly told The Korea Times. “For as long as Apple does not drop mobile telecommunications functions, it would be impossible for it to sell its i-branded products without using our patents. We will stick to a strong stance against Apple during the lingering legal fights.” Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone 5 in the coming weeks. More →
27,000 people have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple in South Korea over concerns Apple collected private location data, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The group is seeking 1 million won per person in damages, or about $930 each and just over $25 million total. In early August, the Korean Communications Commission fined Apple 3 million won ($2,829) following the “Locationgate” scandal that occurred earlier this year. Apple has stood by its claims that the location-tracking was the result of a bug that was fixed in a software update. The iPhone maker was also sued in the United States by two consumers in Florida and by one man in Puerto Rico. Apple paid South Korean lawyer Kim Hyung-suk $945 this past May after he filed a lawsuit against the company, and that is the only other recorded pay-out at this point regarding the iOS location tracking bug. More →