SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile phone provider is set to begin sales of Apple’s iPhone 4 next week. The iPhone had been carried exclusively by KT for over a year. SK Telecom had previously been closely aligned with Samsung, having sold the Galaxy S exclusively in Korea.
The iPhone got a head start in the smartphone wars in Korea but the Android platform took the lead piggybacking on the combined muscle of Samsung and SK Telecom. Now, it will be interesting to see how the competition will play out since the iPhone will be available on Korea’s largest mobile phone provider much as it recently had become with Verizon in the U.S.
Meanwhile, KT has begun trying to cozy up with Samsung. They are now carrying Samsung’s Nexus S and are in negotiations to carry the next generation of the Galaxy phone.
It will be interesting to see how the market pans out. Many analysts believe the iPhone will be able to overtake Android in the U.S. now that they are available on Verizon. While this has yet to be seen, could a similar scenario play out in Korea? It will probably be much more difficult since Samsung and LG are such powerful players in the local market but it’s not entirely unfeasible.