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news-korea-kt-iphone1Will iPhone launch in South Korea before year end? According to recent press reports, Korean “location tracking” regulatory hurdles have finally been cleared and the deal between Apple and KT can now be formalized.

KT Senior Vice President Pyo Hyun-myung

KT Senior Vice President Pyo Hyun-myung

Adding credence to a near-term deal/launch is a Sept. 28 quote from KT executive Pyo Hyun-myung;

Although the date and other details for iPhone’s South Korean debut have yet to be set, the iPhone will likely create its own market segment among the country’s smartphone users and may help jumpstart healthy competition.”

KT spokesman Yeom Woo-jong added: “We will try to release the iPhone as soon as possible.”

Fast-forward to a Reuters report today:

The Korea Communications Commission said in a statement on Wednesday it would grant Apple’s South Korean unit a licence that allows collecting information on locations and provide services such as map, phone locating and related marketing.

There have been at least two previous reports of Apple’s imminent iPhone launch in South Korea in partnership with KT. Perhaps the third time is the charm? According to JoonAng Daily, KT plans to host an iPhone launch event on Nov. 28. The actual launch is rumored to be sometime in early December.

While Samsung and LG claim dominant mind and market share in Korea, iPhone’s superior user interface and 100,000+ applications will give Apple more than a fighting chance.

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