updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue October 12, 2010
Apple iPad likely to sell in Korea in November
South Korea's Communications Commission today said Apple had asked for approval to sell the iPad in the country. A decision was expected within the next five days and could lead to sales shortly afterwards. Apple's only official Korean iPhone carrier, KT, said it wanted to sell the iPad starting in November if there were no obstacles.
It's unclear how KT would sell the iPad. Apple has so far discouraged sales in carrier stores as it wants its device sold unlocked and sells half of its models as Wi-Fi only. Apple may nonetheless need to cater to KT as it doesn't have official Korean stores.
The hardware had faced significant hurdles getting into the country as it faced a temporary import ban along with worldwide shortages that made a Korean launch impractical while Apple struggled to cater to already supported companies. KT ended up carrying a self-branded Android tablet known as the Identity Tab in part as a stopgap.
A November launch would pit the iPad almost directly against the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is due to ship to its creator's home country before the end of the year and could well arrive at the same time as Apple's tablet. Samsung has been counting primarily on carrier deals and should give service through KT's well-known rival, SK Telecom. As in the US, it may rely on subsidies to create a superficially lower price but at the expense of mandatory 3G service over the course of a contract.