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Nearly a Third of Phones Sold in South Korea are 3G Models

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The market share of handsets supporting WCDMA and HSDPA networks increased remarkably in South Korea in 2007. The latest research report released by ROA Group found out that 30.7% of the handsets launched in 2007 supported WCDMA and HSDPA networks, while the figure was a mere 4% in 2006. Also the proportion of handsets supporting mobile WiMAX (WiBro) increased compared to the previous year.

In terms of manufacturers, LG released more models compared to 2006, and was able to increase its market share in the domestic market by 6%, to 26%, while that of Samsung remained the same, occupying 50% of the South Korean market. As the cut-throat competition between the manufacturers and mobile operators intensifies, the market witnessed a drop in the average retail price compared to 2006, with the market share of high-end handsets decreasing to 40.4%.

There was also a notable increase in Bluetooth installment, sub-camera, Video on Demand (VOD), Video Telephony and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) support. More and more handsets are equipped with Universal Subscription Identity Module (USIM) card, enabling mobile payment services, and this segment is expected to grow in South Korea as cooperation between mobile operators, card issuers and commercial banks strengthens in the market.

Among form factors, ROA Group believes that slim trend will continue and the adoption of touch screen will widespread further. The expansion of WCDMA and HSDPA networks will enable more innovative multimedia services, resulting in the acceleration of mobile Internet usage and interaction between content and end-user, says David Kim, chief consultant at ROA Group Korea.

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Tags: samsung  mobile wimax  wcdma  bluetooth  lg  mobile internet  hsdpa  touch screen  Korea