Korea is in the Middle of Tablet Wars

As you read this article, the tablet wars have begun in the Korean Republic and will be hotting up in the coming weeks. Korean Telecoms and SKT, two major local telecom carriers in the country are scheduled to release the latest touch screen tablets running on their networks. These include the Apple iPad by the former and Samsung Galaxy Tab by SKT.

Over the years, KT has been known to partner with Apple whom intends to proliferate its products using the telecoms carrier. Most recent on the list include the iPhone 3G and iPhone 4, while SKT is introducing the Samsung Galaxy series as its pioneer tablet devices in a bid to compete with KT’s Apple iPad.

There is no price plan in sight yet for the Samsung Galaxy Tab, though it supports an advanced voice calling feature which is absent on the Galaxy S. Consumers might be spoilt for choice in the long run if both tablets end up with the same pricing regime with the main difference being the difference in screen size. Though, the voice call feature will give the Galaxy Tab a leap in terms of demand.

The Identity Tab, an Android based tablet device is already generating revenue for KT. The Identity Tab is a locally sourced tablet with a 7-inch screen from the Stables of Enspert. We suspect that KT’s strategy for these two tablets will be to position the Apple iPad as its flagship tablet for customers on the high end, while giving those at the middle to low end to opportunity to enjoy same services with a lower priced tablet like the Identity Tab. It is left for us to see how this plays out in the coming months.

Even though the Apple iPad is yet to be officially unveiled to Korean consumers for retail sales, over 30,000 people have purchased the product. This goes to show how strong the Koreans are interested in gadget and this might be the perfect opportunity for the two carriers to increase revenue. It must be noted that Koreans have been known to embrace all sorts of gadgets at an early stage before the rest of the world catches on, especially for the locally manufactured ones. After the domestic market gets saturated, then the worldwide export begins.

With this knowledge, Apple has consistently tried to penetrate the Korean market, though it takes some months before its products get officially launched in this market. This time lag gives local competitors the opportunity to showcase similar gadgets that will give the Apple devices a run for its money.

Finally, it seems that Korea is about the only country where local manufacturers are able to give the Cupertino based Apple company real headache in terms of matching products. Thus, Apple has decided to go along with local partners in order to increase its market share, because it seems the country is really important to its growth strategy.

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