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Apple’s official carrier in South Korea, KT, revealed yesterday that iPhone has now surpassed the half-million (500,000) sales mark. This makes South Korea, a nation with 47 million total mobile subscribers, number 8 globally in first year iPhone sales. KT is understandably delighted. According to Pyo Hyun-myung, president of the mobile business group at KT;

There are only seven out of 88 countries, including the United States, where the figure of iPhone users has gone over 500,000 within one year. It even took seven months for Japan, a country with some 3 million using the device, to reach over 500,000 users.”

The ascention of iPhone in Korea has been surprising to many veteran telecom watchers. Until the summer of 2009, Korean government regulators kept a walled garden (special protocols & regs) that effectively shut out smartphone competition. These rules had allowed home players such as Samsung and LG to grab a dominant share of the mobile handset market. Apple has now trimmed the walled garden’s hedge.

There have been several chauvinistic campaigns in Korea that attempted to undermine iPhone’s success. Yet, ironically, these well-funded initiatives may have backfired … Read > News from the battlefront: Buying an iPhone is patriotic act

iPhone launched in South Korea on November 28, 2009 … to hit the 500,000 mark by March 30 means that KT has been selling 4,000 iPhones per day. Not too shabby.

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