Smartphone Use in South Korea Passes 50%

Smartphone use in South Korea has surpassed 50%, despite the late entry of Apple’s iPhone in the country. According to reports by the three mobile providers in the country, the number of smartphone subscribers has reached 50.8% of the country’s 52.55 million total mobile subscribers.

Visitors walk by a billboard of Samsung Electronics Galaxy Note at the firm's headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, in this file photo. Carriers report that smartphone use in the country has surpassed 50%. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

These 26.72 million smartphone users account for a growing part of the subscriber base of KT, SK Telecom, and LG Uplus, taking off after the Apple iPhone was introduced in 2009, reports The Chosunilbo. During that time, carriers have reported smartphone use at only about 470,000. This number skyrocketed to 10 million in March 2011 and 20 million as of October the same year.

Smartphones have been lauded in South Korea for being productivity aids. “The smartphone has brought big changes to people’s lives, corporate working patterns and the IT market,” says an official from the Korea Communications Commission.

Both home-grown Samsung and Apple have performed well both domestically and in the international market, with Samsung’s Galaxy series and the Apple iPhone being the top-sellers in this mobile category.