while it was known for a while mainly from Chinese sources, that Apple’s next iPhone 5 would come thinner and longer than the current iPhone 4 and 4S . for the first time actual photos leaked, as we pass onto September 2012 as the most probably Month of iPhone 5 release if not October .
iPhone5facade-ecran-compose480x291  iPhone3-4-5-silhouette300x434 iPhone3-5-back480x434 iPhone4-5-back480x434 iPhone4-5-480x434

as iPhone 5 release date closes-in, two factors to watch-out for in determining South Korean release date and specifications :

  1. getting included among Priority Release Countries . unfortunately South Korea has been sided as third-tier in the release order for Apple mobile devices so far .
  2. and the LTE factor . South Korean cell phone signal carriers or telecommunications companies’ rather unique LTE frequencies (SKT and LG U+ using 850MHz Band 5) might limit early release again for the next iPhone 5 . with undetermined portions increasing as LTE is still at an evolving stage also in South Korea .3G was smooth-sailing, for South Korean carriers used the same European 2,100MHz frequency . and European LTE in 1,800MHz Band 3 is again apt for KT alike, so KT would have no problem . but Apple might have to make a dedicated model for SKT and LG U+ using 850MHz Band 5 . chances rise for neighboring Japanese carriers are stepping into this arena also .

 

 

now entering the Fifth Dimension,
- Korea Tech BLog, September 2012 -

 

( September 10th Supplement ) as Apple’s unveiling of iPhone 5 nears, South Korean telecommunications cell phone carriers are literally giving away SamSung Electronics’ leading model of Galaxy S3 .

ofcourse the guise is :

  1. unprecedented (in the history of Korean cell phone sale) discounts are (supposedly) from carriers and not manufacturer,
  2. as long as you switch carriers (woe ~ seemingly a logical excuse in the name of healthy competition)
  3. and you have to subscribe to rather hefty monthly usage, originally apt for heavy data-transfer users,
  4. the longer contract of 2 years, i.e., 24 Months are now more elongated to 30 Months to lure in lower Monthly costs duh

 

more, on my Galaxy S3 SALE Thread ..
this is exactly why you cannot logically compare an iPhone or iPad with a Galaxy umph, and why this BLog refrains from mentioning the ‘S’ word yawn,

 

 

( September 13th Thursday 2am ) best LIVE web-stream into South Korea, about iPhone 5 unveiling :

http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/12/apple-iphone-5-liveblog/
http://live.theverge.com/apple-iphone-5-live-blog/
http://udid.kr/keynote (Korean translation on-the-fly)

prelude : A6 and camera should be enough reason .

wrap-up :

  • iPhone 5 design similar to iPhone 4/4S but 16% thinner and weighs 114g.
  • boasts A6 processor
  • with 8Million pixel camera with panorama view
  • battery 8 Hours on 3G, while 4S lasted 6
  • LTE will be available via both SKT and KT carriers

and Korea’s off the list, again ~ maybe on the THIRD tier .. Jesus meets Santa ? then
+ iOS6 coming September 19th
+ iPod Nano becomes iPod Touch Mini, in ultra-thin with A5 and ips display

might have been wiser to take that incredible Galaxy S3 SALE, sell your iPhone 4S and buy the NEW ultra-thin iPod Touch with 5Million pixel camera
KeyNote-iPods-4th434 KeyNote-EarPod434x366
a new earphone as EarPod and Lightning-USB connector cable :
KeyNote-Lightning580x360  KeyNote-iPod-iPhone5

a much convincing beginner-friendly video :
http://www.apple.com/kr/iphone/#video

( 9.13 Dawn Supplement ) iPhone 5 will be introduced next Friday September 21st in the States, Canada, UK, France, Deutschland, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, while South Korea again did not make it into the second tier . but as before is more of a ‘special tier’ or an exception considering its home ground of Apple’s nemesis . so sometime between October and Christmas .

Siri & FaceBook integration effective on : Canada, France, Deutschland, Hong Kong, italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and US .

Siri regional search available in : Australia, Canada, France, Deutschland, italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, UK and US .

 

iOS6 has just been available now and iTunes 10.7 in the States :
( make sure you back-up before contemplating this developer distribution )
http://imzdl.tumblr.com/
http://www.mediafire.com/#yyb3439g4mw9w

however, most new iOS6 services will be available in iPhone 4S and NOT 4 -_- for now, and not even on iPad -_-

  • (so-so) heats up bit on continuous usage,
  • (so-so) slightly smoother swipe and handling,
  • (yeah) considerably faster surfing on Safari internet browser, so-much-so that you may NOT need the suposedly faster LTE connection -_-
  • (yeah) camera adds panorama option,
  • (yeah) automatic LCD screen brightness adjustment in dim light drastically improved (used to be too bright)
  • (neh) just when Google Maps finally caught onto the more precise local maps like Daum and Naver, this iPhone map reverts back to the stone age on South Korea,
  • (neh) nor doe the Korean version of Siri take you to geographic locations,
  • (neh) CAUTION : some bank/credit card security codes will be reset, so you will have to re-register all-over again AND some mobile banking might be unstable at this initial stage !
    - reset : Hana Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, ShinHan Bank,
    - unaffected : CitiBank, KeukMin Bank, SaeMaulGeumGo, WooRi Bank,

( 9.19 Update : those who did NOT download and install developers’ release manually, you will be able to upgrade on the phone from tomorrow 2am Korea time)

( 9.20 2:30am iOS6 is now upgradable from your iPhone 3GS/4/4S but again is most effective on iPhone 4S . the build number is the same as developers’ version gm released a Week earlier )

if somehow you have to wait hours for the upgrade unpacking AND install : here’s a domestic link for you to download and install through iTunes
(has download limit of around 100 though, uploaded 9.21 0:00am)
http://me2.do/5mw0Yo2 for iPhone 4S
http://me2.do/5EiZQUT for iPhone 4 and both passwords are 1234

so iOS6 has given something to nimble on, while waiting for the release of iPhone 5 : collecting various FREE coupons and passes for the new PassBook
http://www.passsource.com

 

*OK from here-on, this BLog will concentrate on South Korea-specific information and facets of iPhone 5 , so please yonder-on to the zillions of other portals and blogs for hard-core specifications as well as dissection ~

 

 

( 9.13 Morning Supplement ) just when you thought the carriers were “siding” with SamSung, KT already hinting lucrative trade-in options for your current iPhone 3GS, 4 or even 4S %^&*@#
http://smartblog.olleh.com/2000


meaning they’ll count a generous W520,000 for your cleanest iPhone 4S 16GB, on bottom-Left 0o0 but again, this is a good deal by trade-in standards, while selling your old phone in the on-Line used market would bring-in more, with some patience .

 

( 9.13 Noon Supplement ) local reaction on the Peninsula :

  1. a new joke going around, that while the iPhone gets smaller, Galaxy gets bigger (also note there is roughly twice resale value than the plunging latter)
  2. for the pessimist, there is a new saying in South Korea : “hmm .. I should have caught the Galaxy S3 bus (implementing BIG SALE last WeekEnd noted on my earlier Post)
  3. also, used iPhone 4S price rose several W10,000

 

( Galaxy innovation ) as incredible it is on a Patriotic land, traditionally sensitive to anything foreign even in modern times, as much as Post-Millennium .. cannot help but laugh-out on more Galaxy jokes emerging . I guess it is like a mother scolding their own child more, in a good-willed sense .

  • post shiny specs,
  • increasing screen size and continuous hardware upgrade,
  • W170,000 !!!

 

( iPhone 5 Counter-Jokes ) again in a healthy competition spirit comparable to the Olympics .. without ill-will

  • ALL the pre-roumours coming out of Mainland China were right !and just when you thought Apple won the legal battle in the States over SamSung ..
  • Nano copies SamSung YP-P2 mp3 player design ;)
  • iPhone 5 design copied from LG chocolate phone ~

( and BOTH Jokes side-by-side ) iPhone gets longer as Galaxy gets bigger umph

 

 

[ THE LTE FACTOR ] points to consider :

  • American-bought iPhone 5′s LTE won’t be usable in South Korea, but neighboring Japan/Hong Kong/Australia’s remain to be seen .
  • if you will be choosing between domestic telecommunications i.e., cell phone carriers :
    • although SKT was THE leading South Korean carrier, once upon a time
    • KT emerged with the belated coming of iPhone 3GS
    • but SKT had a early start with LGT
    • still KT has uncomparably more Wi-Fi hotspots nation-wide
      (while SKT has mostly within concentrated metropolis)

and for Official LTE compatibility :
http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

 

[ Compare iPhone 4S 5 vs. iPhone 5 ] actually not much reason to change

Display . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5 inch diagonal Retina . . 4 inch diagonal Retina
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 960 x 640 resolution . . . . 1136 x 640 resolution
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326 pixel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326 pixel
Telecomm- . . . . . . . . GSM/EDGE . . . . . . . . . . . GSM/EDGE
-unication  . . . . . . . . . UMTS / HSPA . . . . . . . . . UMTS / HSPA+
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DC-HSDPA
and . . . . . . . . . . . . . CDMA EV-DO Rev.A2 . . . . CDMA EV-DO Rev.A & B
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LTE3
WireLess . . . . . . . . . .Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, . . . . . . Wi-Fi 802.1b/g/n,
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 802.11n 2.4GHz . . . . . . . . 802.11n 2.4GHz & 5GHz
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BlueTooth 4.0 . . . . . . . . . .BlueTooth 4.0
SiM Card . . . . . . . . . . Micro-SiM . . . . . . . . . . . . Nano-SiM

 

( Evening Supplement ) following iPhone 5 accessories have passed mandatory ElectroMagnetic Frequency Test from the National Radio Research Agency today :

  • Apple Lightning to 30-pin adaptor A1450
  • Apple Lightning to 30-pin adaptor A1468
  • Apple Lightning to USB Cable A1480

 

 

( 9.14 Update The Morning-After ) by now, some enthusiasts are calculating whether the iPhone 5 to be launched next WeekEnd in neighboring Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore or even Australia and the States can be brought into South Korea for normal, full usage .

and because this is a soft-core BLog, I do NOT have plans to improvise, but the conclusion is NO, so far from all countries mentioned above . still, your best bet would be Hong Kong .

- the ante has fallen due to the introduction of the new Nano-SiM Card -

from European Telecommunications Standards institute :
” The fourth form factor (4FF) card will be 40% smaller than the current smallest SIM card design, at 12.3mm wide by 8.8mm high, and 0.67mm thick. It can be packaged and distributed in a way that is backwards compatible with existing SIM card designs. The new design will offer the same functionality as all current SIM cards.”

ofcourse a short disclaimer of 90% validity would be necessary, AND with extreme effort – for many factors are involved, especially since the device is NOT out yet :

  • voice frequency,
  • LTE compatibility,
  • most countries taking local reservations before actual line-up queue,
  • purchasing abroad WITHOUT subscription,
  • using the new Nano-SiM Card,
  • and getting your own Korean ElectroMagnetic Frequency Test authorized,
  • finally, the most critical hidden card is one foreign visitors as well as expatriates should know : Apple 3G models which include iPhone AND iPad have “local” warranty in South Korea . nomatter what Apple Korea says, this is what the Korean cellular carriers in SKT and KT have been reciting ever since the first iPhone 3GS landed on the Peninsula . illegal, unethical and unjust it is, but it is so because there is NO brick-and-motor Apple Store here . so conversely : you CAN get a Korean-bought 3G model fixed WITH warranty in most Apple Stores abroad (those questioning “WHAT ?!” please re-read the paragraph again)

( 9.14 Afternoon The Day After) also Korean Apple on-Line Store is open for the NEW 5th Generation iPod Touch AND Nano : in all color variations of a pastel rainbow ;) however, the actual purchase page is inaccessible – probably contemplating on ship-out calculations .. ONLY possible if you log-in via mobile AND with Dolphin Browser ! (Update : OK now all open from desktop browsers also )

*expected delivery date mentions only ‘October’ for now -_-

however, I do NOT recommend buying iPod Touch in place of iPhone 5 for visitors and expatriates in South Korea . for Wi-Fi-connected map updates only when relocating several blocks – vital to foreigners in a strange landscape .

 

4pm Korea Time : early reservation for iPhone 5 have begun around the World, including unlocked phones in most countries – except the States (but does in Canada)

 

 

( September 15th Saturday Update ) an Unidentified Flying Object um, I mean device awaiting approval at the Korean National Radio Research Agency for around next Tuesday .. could be merely another mobile accessory OR perhaps Santa ..

( September 16th Sunday Update ) it is now known that the new Turn-by-Turn Navigation to be included in iPhone 5, will work in South Korea, although earlier developer’s release of iOS6 had a bare map reminiscent of the first glimpse South Korea on Google Maps . thus, local navigation companies who had a hey day over the Millennium is struck by panic .

current web-based map-wars are between Daum, Naver both major web portals with on-the-fly translation capability also, and Google Maps which has come a long ~ way with Earth AND Street-View along-side the traditional Map-View even with saving capabilities – all of which are imitated by former two Korean companies .

Officially stated to come next Month including :

  • Siri Local Search currently in Canada, UK, Switzerland, italy, Hong Kong, Australia
    and October in Japan and South Korea
  • Siri Directions currently in Canada, US, Mexico, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain
    and October in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Australia
  • Siri Restaurant information currently in Canada, US, Mexico, UK, France, Spain, italy, Australia
    and October in Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea

( 12.9.20 although some aspects NOT working with Korean iPhone 4S on iOS6 developers’ release, had been anticipated to work with the coming of Official retail release, but NOT so . so it will then be upgrade within a Month or two hum )

 

( September 19th Wednesday Update ) as hinted last WeekEnd, the reverable iPhone 5 has passed Electromagnetic Frequency Test from the Korean National Radio Research Agency .

also some replies from the leading iPhone carrier KT on specifications and sign-up terms for iPhone 5 so far :

  • iPhone 5′s LTE is compatible with KT’s 1800MHz frequency,
    but earlier cannot sign-up with existing 3G fares
  • the new Nano-SiM for iPhone 5 will NOT be compatible with current Micro-SiM used in iPhone 4GS and iPhone 4
  • adoptation of a new cable to plug into the new iPhone 5′s Lightning Port,
    thus will NOT be able to use earlier iPhone 4 cables
  • FaceTime usage allowed for subscribed mVoiP terms,

 

so those trying to decide among the two two-tone color combination
should get the FeeL ~ by the end of this video :
http://cnettv.cnet.com/iphone-5-hands-cnet/9742-1_53-50131534.html

 

 

( September 20th Thursday Update after Lunch at Le Bistro behind Crown Hotel in iTaewon ) I am beginning to sense the Power of the Force again .. one that I have felt in the very beginning, when Trade Dispute around the Planet of Naboo began to effect Peace in the Galactic Republic .

at this crucial time in the Peninsula – in a different Time, among another Galaxy far away, this could mean no other than that KT is poised to begin taking early reservation for iPhone 5 anytime soon .

well actually,  it’s because local users whose subscription with KT had expired, are getting calls to check for news of iPhone 5 at their Official website duh .

 

so KT has tasted the nitch to survive, or rather lead the eat-or-be-eaten competitive world of telecommunications, for this is merely a Week after dumping the main competition model of Galaxy S3 (with now rumours of the successive Galaxy S4 materializing).

original KTF was the second cellular carrier in South Korea, until they merged with the nation-wide land-line (normal telephone) company KT in June 2009, to become the largest Korean telecommunications company . then further raising the ante by taking hold of the first iPhone to land on the Peninsula in the belated form of 3GS late November . and to take further hold of the data-spree iPhone and ensuing iPad hungers for : they have been since aggressively conjuring Wi-Fi hotspots all around the nation, even in bus and trains . and since they have rosen with the apparition of iPhone, they will do anything to grasp onto its image as mobile Apple leader . a good example earlier was that the original leader of SKT started selling iPhone 4 a good Week later AND without much fanfare than KT .

 

and if so, what is this HALO jumping after midnight tactics practiced by SEAL, again implimented into this once Land of the Morning Calm, which is NOT included in neither tier 1 NOR 2 of Apple’s Official Release Announcement ?

 

( D-Day September 21st Friday Zero Hour ) ’tis another day that will change the history of post-Modern human race . with ode to the heroes in line – handed a REAL apple and a small bottle water, I wish you Good Luck and see you on the other side of iPhone 5 ~

( Afternoon Supplement ) a few enthusiast have struck a deal with Korean KT and SKT cellular carriers, received a Nano-SiM day before, then flew over to Sydney to line-up for the new iPhone 5 . got the iPhone 5, inserted each Nano-SiM and it works .. in Australia ! although roaming in 3G only because Korean carriers have NOT implemented yet (while others have successfully cut AND sanded their Micro-SiM to work into iPhone 5 -_-)

the fanfare is so over-rated that KT AND SKT began selling Nano-SiM compatible with iPhone 5, out-right from today ! although in main branches such as KT Olleh Square next to the American Embassy downtown Seoul, and across the Han River South at KangNam (South of the River) Olleh Avenue .

 

furthermore if you are poised to bring American-bought iPhone 5 into South Korea it has to be :

  1. iPhone 5 A1429 CDMA
  2. Factory-unlocked Verizon model
  3. purchased from an Official Apple Store

*it should be accentuated that iPhones and iPad 3G/LTE purchased abroad i.e., those that use cellular service may NOT be repaired by Apple-contracted support centers in South Korea, although the way around IS capable .

 

 

( September 23rd Sunday ) same drill all-over again : some telecommunication branches i.e., shops with KT or SKT banner are taking early reservations, mostly those in your neighborhood whom you may have befriended . but come actual distribution time : these will get iPhone 5 later than direct-run branches, non of whom are taking reservation at this time . so sign-up ONLY if they do NOT require any payment up-front NOR signature, other than your name and contact phone number .

( September 27th Thursday ) as the South Korea braces for a festive golden WeekEnd sandwiched with ThanksGiving on Saturday AND Sunday plus National Foundation Day on Wednesday 3rd October, internal documents of both telecommunication companies KT and SKT, hint early reservation for iPhone 5 may start October 12th Friday, and commence sale on the next Friday 19th . this comes amid earlier rumours reservation might start the Friday before on the 5th .

( October 4th Thursday afternoon ) after a truly apt Golden Weekend that poured over from Korea’s most ritualistic ThanksGiving to sandwich on National Foundation Day : time is ripe for the elusive iPhone 5 to finally land on Korean shores . larger KT-direct-run branches seem to have the go-ahead to take early reservation from 9am tomorrow . whether a bulk will actually start depends upon their coordination . and usually SKT starts following KT’s lead . then the actual sale often comes around two Weeks there-after .

( October 5th Friday afternoon ) while some branches of KT are quietly taking reservations, seems iPhone 5 has to go through another mandatory Electromagnetic Signal Authorization for SKT’s multi-LTE frequency . thus release date delayed for Apple to release all carriers simultaneously .

( post-script ) while unclear at the time, as enthusiasts brought over iPhone 5 from abroad, which was the usual ritual since South Korea was never on Apple’s first tier of release countries : it seems independently flown-in Australian models could NOT ride SKT’s 850MHz LTE frequency through-out South Korea . conspiracy theories rose whether SKT mis-labeled their frequencies or Australian models have blocked other frequencies than their own 850MHz .

add to this confusion, Apple cancelled earlier Electromagnetic Frequency Test from the Korean National Radio Research Agency due to mislabeling 2.1GHz 3G frequency . there-after iPhone 5 was submited again, this time for multi-frequency of 850MHz AND 1800MHz .

 

( October 19th Friday intermission ) Apple’s media block-out in contrast to SamSung’s constant manipulation, is another aspect much hard on local consumers as much as iTunes . a bulk of Appla-ppa’s (acronym for obsessive, unconditional FAN) are trying to act as if iPhone 5 does NOT exist in this World, while I am concentrating on opening another BLog : this time around on Otaku culture borne from neighboring Japan, mostly about resin figures and TV dramas ..

so for enthusiasts like Bryan whose “neck is in Korean terms : elongated in anticipated waiting” another much anticipated subject in neighboring Japan : punk magazine model Erika Nakamori debuting as new singer Erika next Month ~

 

( October 23rd Tuesday whisper ) by the eve of anticipated unveiling of Apple’s Mini iPad States-side, long-term cellular users in South Korea would have received a marketing call from KT : offering trade-ins for the upcoming iPhone 5 . so it IS coming, as if we care now -_-

also top management of Apple Korea has suddenly been (Donald Trump : “You’re ..) fired . seems the subject himself awed at abrupt notice gulp . but in the once-Land of the Mornin’ Calm – now : tangled with all sorts of the FASTEST wired-AND-wireless connections in da whole-wide-World (i.e., www), even Steve Jobs would have not lasted long in a consumer populace notoriously laden with national sentiment, no-matter how technologically advanced its hardware seems to get . first mis-conception is that a Korean-American/French would get the job done smoothly . further NOT an American/French simply married to a Korean Oh, ofcourse our innovatively advanced/advancing/advancer(?) beyond-this-World : Mr.B would be a Holy exception .. Hope the head office didn’t simply dawn on the verdict comparing iPhone sales to Galaxy OR from the current delay of iPhone 5′s electro-magnetic signal testing, for the former is profoundly incomparable (subject of my next thesis) and the second pure politics .

worse is the tone the news spread through Korean media, with choice of word used when a North Korean general is removed from office, as if to imply iPhone 5 has lost before it began – testament to whose-side local media is on, and always has been .

one important truth to note though : even the most popular Apple ReSale-or-whatever contracted store on the Korean Peninsula is virtually empty aside from the few Weeks releasing new iPhone, iPad or MacBook Air .

 

 

*contents may be cluttered, for writing as newer information unveils, so will re-arrange every Week or so .

go fetch a Galaxy S3, sell your iPhone 4S AND the NEW iPad
then get the NEW iPod Touch and Mini iPad
- Korea Tech BLog, ides of September 2012 -

 

( November 5th Monday 2012 yawn )  iPhone 5 simulating Episode V The Empire Strikes Back opening crawl ..

it is a dark time for Apple-ppas ( a term hung from glorious days of Sony across the strait with their game-boys and VAIOs). Although the iPhone 5 has been released, it shows NO sign of landing on the Korean Peninsula after SIX Weeks – a duration not understandable NOR durable to a populace now boasting the FASTEST domestic internet on Planet Earth .

on top of this, Korean Apple-ppas’ latest pride and joy : the NEW iPad 3 was announced to be discontinued over-night with the release of its Mini brothren as well as a newer crisp Retina Display version . thus South Korea is apt to be an experimental site comparable to mental institutions researching : how the human brain would prefer that a tangible material NOT exist if it cannot be had, immediately nor any hope in the near future .

a direct path is cast onto the Dark Side, as it is now easier than ever for the doubtful, as Apple enthusisasts are prone to the national propaganda ever-streamed by the Lord of the Galaxy, as Apple begins to ryhme with inconprehensible and unattainable ..

 

 

( November 21st Wednesday drag ) with many have cried “Wolf !” and anticipation becoming a doldrum, quite a number of early-adopters are purchasing or having theirs shipped-in from either Hong Kong or Australia, because nearest Japan is a no-no and you have to consider carriers from the States as updated on my Foreign-Purchased iPhone 5 for Use in South Korea Post .

all-the-while, the latest rumour places iPhone 5 starting early (Yeah, Right) reservation on the last WeekEnd of November and selling from the second WeekEnd of December //

 

( evening update ) after a while of Dead-Sea calm after prophets-after-prophets fore-telling the coming of Christ oh, I mean iPhone 5, rumours are up again, more than the coming nation-wide bus strike in protest of  Korean bill designating taxis as public transportation, after mid-night tonight .

Mr.Gates may have left Apple’s helm, but South Korean importers are trying (as in : make-believe themselves) to taunt the whole image of Apple introducing its latest products in the form of key notes, and this is important : wearing jeans – a whole closet away from traditional (yet in Post-Modern South Korea) promotion events sprinkled with sponsor girls in front of business-attire management on stage .

and local fan-base looks up to no one other than the president of the cellular carrier most akin to importing iPhone and iPads into South Korea : KT, Mr.Pyo . as many repeatedly ask him the same question of WHEN iPhone 5 will be released, tonight he is busy tweeting : “almost there so just have a bit more patience”.

also felt along the same Force, is that KT’s competing carrier SKT may be ready to offer attractive terms on switching carriers (like around W2~300,000) sensing a bulk of current iPhone 3GS/4/4S users will sign-up with KT come release day .

 

 

( November 22nd Thursday interesting morning ) as early-bird news media started announcing : loose portions of the nation-wide bus strike against a new Bill scheduled to pass tomorrow accepting taxi as public transportation, were operating normally, rag-tag On-Line editorial began mentioning the elusive iPhone 5 will finally begin early reservation on November 30th, and will start selling December 7th – all Fridays .

interesting reaction of the human psyche as most fan-base still doubted another boy or girl crying “Wolf !”.. even after reputable newspapers and even nation broadcast ! began noting the same dates, as citizens commuting to work were relieved unprecendented bus strike has returned to normal from 7:20am .. mostly because Apple nor its Korean importers or rather carriers in KT and SKT have not yet formally announced any dates ugrrrr

 

if so, which cellular carrier to choose ?

  • remember SKT has better technology and signals, only that KTF merged with the local telephone company, has been agressively promoting iPhone and iPads,
  • and feel SKT voices are very slightly clearer,
  • BUT you need to consider the expected lavish discounts from both carriers come iPhone 5, both for switching carriers as well as sending-in your old iPhone 3GS/4/4S,
  • KT if you need Wi-Fi spots out-side of metropolitan Seoul, for SKT is concentrating on populated regions first,
  • SKT has uncomparable contracts as well as Wi-Fi connections for roaming abroad,

 

( Dr.Strangelove or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb Oh I mean : How KT Became the fore-runner of iPhone and iPad importer )

but know the common Conspiracy Theory concerning iPhone and iPad influx into South Korea . the story goes like this :

SKT was the prime cellular carrier from the beginning of nation-wide cell phone usage around 1994, while the second carrier KTF merged into the local telephone company KT June 1st 2009 becoming the largest telecommunications company . but SKT was and still is better in cellular - it is a comical situation as both KTF and KT branches has become KT but former KTF offices are more atuned to cellular matters . as Apple was poised to introduce iPhones into South Korea – NOT happening even TWO years after its unveiling early 2007 – and SKT was quite enthusiastic to take it on .. the largest local electronics comglomerate in Apple’s rival kindly asked SKT (in patriotic tone) that if the prime telecommunication company of this nation were to import competing iPhones, it will severly affect their sales . SKT accepted and KT stepped-in when iPhone 3GS finally landed end of November 2009, with their president (unprecedented in a product introduction) pealing-off shirt and tie to become Superman, oh I mean to announce in a Key-Note-like event and repeating the wish-ful rite on every new iPhone and iPad . so even me, personally would perfer SKT on any cell phone BUT KT is more aggressively offering those perks needed and enjoyed through smart-phones like price discounts as well as Wi-Fi spots .

 

( so-called KT Foreign Customer Sign-Up Centers )

that said, it would only be fair to let you know on another possible Conspiracy Theory (Oh, come-on be a Sport let the story figure itself out)

KT has an entity (put in a positive way) as their sort-of-English webpage to adhere to the local expat community, as well as half-a-dozen branches called international sign-up centers to lure the large amount of English teachers who have flocked into the once Land-of-the-Morning-Calm . but they do their own twist-and-shout to sell phones along with subscription, thus I advise you head for Main Offices instead of each telecommunications carrier - scarcely located in central metropolis, but you will get the right answers and deserving service .

if you are signing up for KT, I highly recommend their YongSan headquarters, as I still have to meet a clerk who speaks better English than the elder lady in the center counter – Oh yes, I have from the Port City of Busan or Pusan up to the Capital of Seoul .
- the tall KT Building between Seoul Subway Line 4 SamGakJi Station Exit 3 and the next ShinYongSan Station Exit 1 -

also right in front of Exit 1 is YongSan Post Office,
and out of Exit 4 as well as on top of Subway Line 1 YongSan Station AND KTX bullet train Station on the 4th Floor awaits Korail Members Lounge (where you have to sign up for FREE railroad membership) with iPhones, iPads and all the Galaxies and even HTC to try to your liking and rarely crowded ! then on the 8th Floor of iPark Mall awaits supports centers of KT, SKT and even Apple !

 

and when signing-up, know what warranty you can have in case of repair – which you should for ALL electronics products and more-over those that have faible LCD screens :

  • both KT and SKT have an affordable (around W4000 a Month) no-fault insurance program for the first year on NEW cell phones,
  • ALL support centers in South Korea are out-sourced, so your best bet in case of kaput is abroad in the nearest cities like Fukuoka or Hong Kong with an Official Apple Store,
  • and if not, those in South Korea differ on their Maginot Line of whether to treat as warranty or make you pay for repair, and from local reviews over the past two years, your preference should be :
    1. repair centers run by telecommunication companies,
    2. independent repair centers contracted by Apple like UBASE (SamBo TG laptop computers), DES (DaeWoo Electronics Service Centers) and TUVA,
    3. those operated by sneaky Premium ReSellers, Apple Shops or what-ever,

and such arrogant difference in quality Global brand, is sadly the third reason why Apple will NOT be fully successful on the Korean Peninsula . the first and second would be in promotion and sales, and still a forth in iTunes .. but again that is another story .. for the next bus strike Ouch

lastly, with no one believing those who cry “Wolf !” any more concerning iPhone 5 short of Official announcement from either Apple or its local Korean cell phone signal carriers, here’s the latest joke which might very well be true for there are Apple-ppa’s (synonym for utmost fan from Sony days) in every technical institute :

South Korea’s NASA counterpart Korea Aerospace Research institute is rushing to shoot up its trouble-some Naro Rocket sooner that the Official Korean release of iPhone 5 ~ which is now scheduled for November 29th Friday 2012, which we again have to see to believe ..

 

( November **cking 29th Thursday, man afternoon) a nation braces for a last-minute horse-racing bet stance as the central story-line of the movie ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ starring Bruce Willis, whether

  1. r-e-a-l-l-y (actually it started as a joke) the South Korea’s first space-rocket will now actually (note the spelling) Launch - fuel-in started almost 2pm – OR,
  2. (no-way) early reservation for the much belated for the FASTEST internet country will commence earlier – note this is reservation and NOT release, which should come a Week~10 Days there-after,

as both may be poised to start around 4pm today phew . but if you are a true iPhone 5 fanatic – me ? No, just a soft-core tech blogger with a menial job, as shown on both movie versions of Total ReCall – better pass-by your local telecommunication branch in your neighborhood if you are lucky enough to have befriended one - yes there were merit in this during the early days of cellular when mostly businessmen used Motorolla flip-out or even Qualcomm slid-ups, but diminished as On-Line branches declared all-out competition over the Third Millennium - as some may be hastily putting up iPhone 5 sign-up signs, than hang around this humble tech blog .

( 4pm live-cast) .. And the Winner is ~ well, Naro was cancelled about a quarter before the planned 4pm Launch time with no re-schedule yet, so the weight might be sliding onto the elusive iPhone 5 . for now,

( sun-down gasp ) so to keep a healthy sports competition spirit with the doomed Korean rocket – um the thing that is supposed to shoot-up, iPhone 5 may be delayed again – Jesus, and this is only the reservation part – perhaps due to another string-pulling from SK carrier grrr

 

 

( End of November Friday afternoon ) so out of all the Wolves, those who cried “iPhone 5″ just before NO Black Friday in South Korea, was true as iPhone 5 will Officially start taking reservations from 10pm tonight and start shipping a Week later on December 7th again Friday . so after-all it may a very good Christmas .

the race flag will go up exactly on time On-Line but local brick-and-mortar telecommunications branches may accept sign-ups this afternoon, to input onto their systems come 10pm .

KT reservation options :

  • via cell phone messaging through ##4545
    input your preferred model type like “32GB Black”
  • http://preorder.olleh.com
  • Olleh (another confusing KT’s cellular brand name) local branches

either case, nothing will be carved in stone and binding until you actually sign a contract with :

  1. fill out an Official contract form where nowadays the On-Line version is straight-forward and works well too,
  2. Fax-in a copy of your citizen ID or passport, or attach a scanned photo file on their On-Line application usually at the bottom,
  3. after-which : you will get a live phone-call verifying your intent a day before they ship-out OR inform you where to pick-up,

 

 

- Korea Tech BLog’s Official iPhone 5 Sign-Up FAQ -

every-thing you ever wanted to know about signing up Apple’s latest iPhone 5 in South Korea
but got exhausting after waiting over TWO Holy what-da increment of (ip)Time
in a Peninsula with the FASTEST domestic internet speed on Planet Earth um, Months duh ?

  • can a foreigner sign-up for iPhone in South Korea ?
    welcome to the once-Land of the Morning Calm, now studdled with satellite cities lined with endless rows of apartments WITH the fastest domestic internet connection in the known World . if you are only visiting for a couple of Months it is best to buy without subscription, however iPhones and iPads retain price well so you can still sell when you leave . subscription plans have lengthened from a Year in earlier cell phone days, to two with the influx of more expensive smart-phones . easiest if you have an alien registration number to use as any local citizens in all aspects of Life, especially cyber on the Peninsula . but if you don’t : LGT is the kindest so far with KT running close, while SKT will only let you go pre-paid . there are so many English teachers here that it is not uncommon to see “For Foreigners” tabs on larger On-Line reservations sites .
  • Shall I go for Black or White this time ?
    despite a wonderous Free World where you can fancy colors to your liking,
    the first punch of an iPhone is the show-off, where Black was cool for the first iPhone into South Korea in 3GS, while White was for 4 and 4S to distinguish from Black 3GS . and it has come back full-circle in 5, especially the elongated design will make it look longer in black, when the device is off //
  • Which capacity should I choose on 16GB, 32GB or even 64GB ?
    unless you are the most basic of users, you will come to a halt in 16GB in the first couple of Months, where-as 64GB for those who have much documents/songs/eBooks/videos to carry, despite all the what-ever Cloud service available On-Line .. you would want to access them especially during travel when connection may be compromised // mind-you there is a whole universe out-there with a bulk of ALL popular magazines, books, lessons, videos and your imagination is the limit .. available on the Grey Zone even if you do NOT jail-break your wonder-device -_<
  • What are the sign-up methods available from early reservation date of November 30th Friday ? already noted on above paragraph ~

 

  • Which local Korean CARRIER should I choose ?
    (KT is cheaper over-all with 16GB for W580,000 and while SKT has 18 Month plans)
    (what-ever the conspiracy theory were BEFORE iPhone 5 release – that was trying to lure as much users into Galaxy ground, but once-out : SKT may try fierce competition to counter KT price discount of 16GB W580,000 with their 16GB W530,000)
  • Geez ~ the Price-Plan seems too complicated for the laymen to comprehend ..
    will come up from 10pm tonight but the main difference this time is LTE data transfer, where unlimited price option will NOT be available, hence some who might want to still sign-up with 3G, if they will allow //
    OK, I will pass on this, for carriers seem to be poised to offer lucrative deals such as discounts with only 3 Month mandatory high-transfer option .. so do your own shopping for it is one of the most fun moment of techno-Life,
    - suggestions continued -

 

( at the end of early sign-up day, past mid-night ) phew ~ what an evening it was um, I should now seek-out restaurants open on the wee-hours after midnight in iTaewon - where GLBT, G.i’s, hungry English teachers and curious Koreans cross path .. for dinner .

looking-back at the evening : out of the couple of early sign-up modes, cell phone messaging started about half an hour earlier than 10pm and response came within 5 Minutes, again by SMS . most Apple-pa’s (synonym for ultimate fan-base borne from Sony days – now sadly dwindling) signed-up multiple at KT or SKT telecom’s Official site as well as with the most active user communities, which offered better discounts – for you can cancel later .

Pro’s with signing up at Official Sites was that

  1. both KT “Green Program” and SKT “Eco-Phone” has trade-in programs, where their buy-in prices are almost the same as actual used iPhone going rates – ofcourse from competition sensed for iPhone 5,
  2. also they enabled your accumulated coupons to be used
    - as introduced many times on the BLog : the second mobile carrier KTF merged with the Korean telephone company KT, and their website (yeah, bring-in a completely un-related name for further confusion) named Olleh was a mess, with ID’s from their former sites inter-mingling . and now they are offering to inter-wine all ID’s into one, and when you do, you get further points – actually a whopping W70,000 worth usable to sign-up new LTE plans, like this iPhone 5, explained a day below,
  3. AND they would probably be the first to ship-out than : local branches, independent sellers and user communities .

Pro- with signing up at user community group-buys is that they have the cheapest price in the form of rebates as long as you stick to a few terms such as (aside from mandatory 18 or 24 Month contract which is now common)

  • keep the over-W60,000 a Month LTE price plan for at least three Months,
  • roughly 20% discount compared to about 10% if you signed-up with Official sites,

What WAS confusing was that the two cell phone carriers switched prices up until the last minute from competition so I am not sure which was in the end .

 

 

( December 1st dawn Hey, is it Saturday ?) ode to telecommunications personnel throughout the Korean Peninsula who hadn’t had a nap to conjure all the reservation rush over-night . as well as the shoppers who had mighty hard time comparing prices . it’s like you got off the horizontally-rotating merry-go-round at San Francisco Pier 39 and warp’ed straight to Osaka’s date spot atop HEP-5, on the this time : vertically-rotating carousel over-looking the joyful second city of Japan .

as expected, KT vendors have better options, and the lowest prices are now spread-out at Korea’s latest On-Line discount outlet in the form of “Social Commerce” (where you go to snatch rock-bottom price coupons of restaurants BUT on designated date AND time, Jesus) .. that is, if you can decipher through encrypted lure to find the speck of your choice . besides a tricky caution needed for some may NOT be Official branches . and how Time mends agony into joy, for those who were complaining iPhone 5′s almost-three-Months late introduction into South Korea, (so-much-so that another Conspiracy Theory rose questioning whether this was used to anger citizen’s up-roar, nearing presidential election – but no, Apple’s fan-base is NOT as large as Apple-pa’s would like to be, in a still conservative Galaxy country, in spite of recent KangNam-Style fad) cannot believe in their Luck to come across some KT vendors selling 16GB for W450,000 with the LOWEST LTE Monthy fare plan (usually only offering higher ones W50,000+ per Month on discounts) on 2 year subscription – possible with discount from the carrier, and then vendor on top of that – and more, if you have ample membership points (explaind on second paragraph below) to use, Holy God .

important to note : the great Korean price above on either carrier-change OR device change, thus NOT on brand-new subscription NOR 64GB models - evening update : 64GB gradually available but NO new subscriptions yet - and please do NOT ask where, for this BLog don’t hand-out points-of-purchase . furthermore some are halting sales for full capacity over-night, so much so that authorities might step-in to mediate, although those who already reserved would most probably go through .

and because it is the Week-End, let’s talk about

 

[ POINTS ] no, this is NOT the commemorative last episode of Saving Private Ryan spread onto a TV mini-series : Band of Brothers, and not only because I am a Wi-Fi nut and MileAge freak, but because you can get 10% OFF at StarBucks ! .. now do I have your attention ? Good, I’ll throw-in 10% OFF at OutBack SteakHouse too ;) but again, you can get that by issuing their own FREE membership card, AND another discount on your celebrated birthday ~

Telecommunication Points go both ways : collecting AND using, where restaurants and movie theatres are its most popular use . KT even has an iPhone app showing all the stores around you and how much discount offered with your (virtual) Point Card .

that said, I should add the reason On-Line stores and designer brand branches are sometimes cheaper than Duty-Free Shops at airports is mostly because of accumulation points (not just KT) and similar, regular discounts from credit card companies .

KT is allowing the welcome option of using Olleh Points in new sign-up . also, they may be discounting a generous W100,000 for mail-outs than pick-up after early reservation .

*on top of this, carriers have further (with slight) discounts for long-time membership .

 

[ CANCEL PENALTIES ] another reason to sign-up with KT, for SKT has implemented harsh penalties when opting-out of a binding subscription from this November . KT also had plans but delaying to next March mostly for this iPhone 5 .

when you sign-up for subsciption, now usually for TWO years (some WiBro-to-Wi-Fi Egg modem still have a Year) *still with mandatory use usually for the first 3 or 6 Months, and if you cancelled interim : you only had to pay-back what discount you had left . but from now, you have to pay-back ALL the discount you already received too .. meaning, the longer you stay with that subscription and then sign-out : the MORE you will have to pay back . and as if anyone keeps his/her iPhone for more than TWO years when new models are coming up twice a year ..

just to clarify above paragraph :

  1. cell phone subscription plans used to be a Year, until it hiked-up to 2 years with the more expensive smart-phones .
  2. most discounts on subscription plans, contain a clause that you CANNOT halt, transfer OR cancel withing the first 3 or 6 Months . if you do, they bill you full retail price value of your device .
  3. after that, if you cancel anytime before your 2 Year contract : KT requires you to pay (may continue in Monthly installments) the remaining full price, but SKT will make you pay for all discounts you received so far, also .

 

[ DEFECTS AND RETURNS ] Republic of Korea Basic Consumer Law 16-2 and Customer Quarrel Relief 8-3 concerning Mobile Telecommunications Business states, in laymens terms :

  • within 14 Days of purchase : you can cancel the purchase by returning the device AND accessories,
  • from 15 Days to 6 Months : you can receive 50% of Basic Monthly plan by returning the device AND accessories,
  • disruption for more than 6 Hours besides natural causes : may receive compensation,

while that is the Law, it is commonly understood and actually practiced : that you can return the problematic – for whatever reason you perceive – cell phone for a brand new one, OR CANCEL purchase on bad reception and call-out, both within TWO Weeks of purchase (SamSung and larger manufacturers do this for the first Month for other electronics as well, although may NOT include full boxes, but NOT refurbished)

however South Korea is still a barren support land, where KT/SKT/LG purchase branches AND even Apple-contracted seller including Premium ReSellers of what-ever grand name they begged Apple to dawn upon them, will shove reponsibility to Apple support centers, which in turn are out-sourced . so buy from the Official Korean Apple On-Line Store which is the only route providing customer AND product support in par with States-side .

(update on release day : telecommunications branches refuse to refund OR exchange exterior physical dents found now, not rare among iPhone 5, redirecting buyers to support centers where they may issue a referbished one ?!)

 

 

*iPhone 5 early-reservation perks constantly changing on sign-up as competition rises, and more deals found On-Line, so I’ll initially post in date sequence, to organize once all has stabilized .

( Sunday Update ) No, You Wish . but all iPhone 5 enthusiasts are taking this Sunday OFF to recover from extensive search AND mind-boggling price comparison, for some to conjure 16GB (low capacity but only for comparison’s sake today) at almost W300,000 WITH membership points AND much less (below minus) with either carriers’ generous trade-in program, did you go to Church on Sunday ? still without using accumulated Points :

  • Retail Price for iPhone 5 is W810,000
  • KT’s Official discount is W130,000 under term of a hefty LTE620 data plan for W62,000 Monthly for 2 Years,
  • lowest independent discounts go around W200,000 on TOP of above discount, with some under-scoring the above Monthly plan to LTE340 instead and some more, again for 2 Years
    *note : prices here are /calculated/ fares after you have used the carrier for a full TWO Years .

it might seem on the surface as pure competition between independent branches, but old cultures has much happening under the table, so they might be getting incentives to sell due to iPhone 5′s late arrival AND to subscribe more customers towards LTE which has transfer limits compared to existing 3G data plans .

take the trade-in if you can, for :

  1. their take-in price is almost in par of actual, realistic going rates,
  2. since inter-carrier competition is fierce and much price discounts abound, many are taking this iPhone 5 thus, a lot of used smart-phones may come out there-after, lowering the resale price due to over-saturation ..

 

[ CARRIER TRADE-INS & PLAN PROCEDURES ]

  • similarities between KT and SKT : both prices in par with actual reSale rates, and you send in yours – after which they will verify outer damage and internal operation - then you have the option to accept their price or NOT,
  • difference : is how they apply your fare-to-receive,
  • KT is called “Green Phone” applied to actual purchase . you can even send your old phone in AFTER you sign-up for a new one, and they will deduct it from your Monthly plan .
  • SKT is named “Eco Phone” and is separate of any purchase, as they will accept your used cell phone any time, saving the Planet – rightful to its plan name “V”

 

still, two immediate news :

  1. unprecedented discounts updated above may close tomorrow sun-rise, for KT may issue halt correspondence first thing Monday (the first business day after early sign-up .. makes sense of anther Conspiracy Theory, this time on consumer’s favour)
  2. virtually ALL those who signed-up on the first day i.e., November 30th Friday, can pick-up their wonder phone on Official release day a Week later on December 7th Friday, with mail-outs arriving next Monday December 10th . so although belated, they have received enough in stock Yes, Baby ~just for clarification : telecommunication companies register early reservation in “Batches”, and the first day increment mentioned here will be from the first Batch to seven . but it seems those reserved with latter Batches won’t have to wait long . perhaps more of a matter of how much input human clerks can do to process all the reservation coming in, since this cannot be done automatically .just to give you an idea : swiftly 2 Hours after early reservation began in South Korea, at December 1st 0:00 Hour KT was closing Batch 7, and by afternoon it had filled to Batch 20 . a loose estimate puts this at around 200,000 subscribers .

 

in brief : although THREE Months after States-side release, Koreans and Expatriates should be able to get their sleek iPhone 5 quickly at incredible price // it is like receiving a popular ball-jointed doll in two Weeks, which normally takes 2 Months+ to complete

shipped via :

 

in retrospect : lure-some sales strategy, for if NOT, only much less Apple-pa’s would have jumped into the fifth band-wagon for

  1. competing Galaxy camp had its sales-days imminent to iPhone 5′s States-side release,
  2. and not as many would have considered the new limited LTE data transfer rate, for many had unlimited 3G contracts,
  3. if the reason for belated Korean release was NOT due to Apple’s distribution, then sellers would have over-stocked for almost three Months, so would have to let it out which-ever way they can .

 

it has been a manic Week-End, and further a Week that would seem very long, so have a Good Night folks,

 

 

Scarlet O’Hara : “After all .. tomorrow is another Day ~”

 

( December 3rd Monday morning ) one paradox and concern, each on this Weekly horizon ahead :

  • discounts mentioned above are NOT those advertised on the street, but that you have to go out and find, mostly virtually . still, considerable to-be users have signed-up but is not nation-wide knowledge, yet . so much so, that early newspaper On-Line versions reported this last evening, only to get criticism for stating such baloney -_-
  • depending on how you look at it – because total discount amount is one that is calculated for the end of TWO years usage - the temporary discount above of W130,000 + W200,000 goes beyond limits set by the regulating Korea Communications Commission, and they may step-in when business Week begins ..

 

( Good Afternoon Mr. Phelps ) it is like the many wheeled or tented stores temporarily put-up on populated but pedestrian streets, where they close and disappear for a while when the regional authorities from the “Gu” office come to check .. most of the On-Line discount store-fronts mentioned above are now closed . the records are still there, for the ones who signed-up has to check-back its procedure . so the regulating authorities and carriers are looking the other way OR wishfully making-believe they do NOT exist . remains to be seen if they will re-open shop after business day ends, more probably in the wee hours of the night .

*and since the initial storm may be over, am adding existing content for clarification AND will edit over-all towards topic-relevance, since most have been hastily posted in time-sequence order .

 

( and by the Evening ) first snow in South Korea – as it does regularly snow say, about a dozen times over the Winter, still rarely going below freezing temperature for a full Month total – not heavy but the particles were quite thick .. in the shape of um, tiny white Apples ?

( and mid-night comes again ) ..

Episode V

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

it is a Dark Time for the iPhone . is spite of again a cult-like following in this Peninsula too, short spurts of unprecedented Galaxy SALE imminent to its States-side release AND belated landing of almost THREE wad-da increment of a lengthy-time on metropolis with the FASTEST domestic internet connection on the Planet um, Month all Hope of another spurge in SALES seemed lost, when this was the last chance this Year for telecommunication companies to lure subscription for the FASTER but limited usage LTE data transfer plan .

however, on the night – and I mean closing mid-night – when early reservation began a Week imminent to its actual release Jesus, a group of sporadic independent sellers on so-called Social Commerce sites, now popular for almost-FREE meal coupons at designated time-slots, began accepting sign-ups at bordering fares allowed by the Korean Communication Commission . hence iPhone fan-base who have been exhausted by over-TWO Months of virtual doldrums, couldn’t believe their Luck of such unexpected and sudden discount loop hole . this was to continue another night after a full-business day when some sort of halt-action was expected from regulators .

The Galaxy camp, in witnessing no real obstruction set by the Authorities except a verbal warning AND telecommunication head-quarters implying theirs is the only discount, after which individual sellers are merely slashing their own margin, gradually dispatched their own discount via again, individual vendors . thus Korea Tech BLog designates an all-out smart-phone War has begun on this Once : the Land of the Morning Calm .. hiccup

 

 

so witness History in the making :

  • Optimus LTE2 FREE ! if you sign-up 52 Monthly Fare Plan for TWO Years,
  • Galaxy S3 at almost W260,000 for the same subscription plan !
  • PLUS vendors will transfer another W150,000 into your bank account, making the resulting purchase price to about W110,000 did you go to Church on Sunday ? Oh Mommy

 

now lemme ask you one simple question : are you still an Apple-person ?
either way, Great Master Apple is watching and thus

( December 4th Tuesday Noon ) SKT in hand with KT (Oh how nice of you two) released an official statement full of um, brap NOT worth mentioning here, but which sums-up as “W130,000 is the ONLY Official discount from telecommunication companies and they will NOT be held responsible for those who sign-up other-wise.” (they didn’t issue this kinda notice when SamSung Galaxy 3 was being handed-out for a mere W170,000 imminent to iPhone 5′s introduction States-side) Yeah, right – you can just follow the Yellow Brick Road from where the reservation starts at their Official site, to where the buyers pick-up their goodies and Voila ~ legal branch offices .

from the days when this land was ever-conscious of watch-out moma China, through Japanese rule to when modern military dictators took turns ruling while America looked the other way, Koreans are very used to this kind of propaganda-show, this for Almighty Apple inc. incredible to see late-comers snuffing on the news and going straight to sign-up at the some still-left discount sign-up sites without blinking an eye .

What ?! oops even the attentive Korea Tech PiLoT had missed further discount – still to be verified – seems KT has urged a bulk of its earlier reservists W100,000 OFF in case they used their own shipping (all aspect of Life is paced so-FAST in South Korea over the Millennium, that this commonly means next-day courier  company AND W70,000 OFF to BC Card (their affiliate as local counter-part of VISA or MasterCard ) members . this could mean none-other than .. in Yoda’s terms : we need a co-PiLoT -_<

 

all-the-while, as if a cat passing-by in front of a roaring lion, discount plans for NEW subscribers are slowly coming up from today, where-as it started from Friday night, to lure those who already had accounts, first with 16GB and 32GB, then 64GB started appearing late Sunday .

in retrospect : KT swiftly filled early-reservation order Batch #7 in the first TWO hours late Friday, while sun-down the next day saw Batch #15, Monday Batch #25 and today closing Batch #31. but note : there are many, many cancelling to shift color, carriers and cheaper sites // note the “Batches” here are internal reservation designation groups and NOT import quarters from the States or China . and from sheer FeeL of the Force, they may still have enough in store this time around hmm

 

 

( in the Year of our Lord 2012 : December 5th Wednesday Mid-Night 0:01am D-Day Minus TWO )
as Korea Tech BLog’s expatriate subscribers follow the adventures of Bob Dylan’s grand-son in the Once-Land of the Morning Calm, out reserving his iPhone 5 ..

it is getting to be like the story-line of the late Charlston Heston’s classic Sci-Fi movie ‘Omega Man’ : long after sundown another group of manic-discount sellers arise, this time it is spreading out of Metropolitan Seoul to Southern cities . and the some-what strong FeeLing of the Force turns out to be true, as South Korea’s fore-most iPhone AND iPad promoter and cellular carrier KT has just popped-up this banner, here for you to witness with your glitzy-wonder of eyes :

  • December 7th (Friday) up to early reservation Batch #7 will be connected,
  • December 10~11th (Monday & Tuesday) ALL the rest will be too 0o0

well let me tell you a fable of a story, of a time once when mere 3~4 reservation Batches were connected per business day, on earlier iPhones and iPads . it was a time when getting fore-most Batch was crucial as an Apple-ppa (synonym for utmost fan-base, started in the days when “it was a Sony”)

 

 

( D-Day November 7th Friday Noon ) second snow day of December 2012 throughout South Korea, even the South-Eastern Port City of Busan or Pusan – a classic Summer migration spot where it seldom snows . there-fore the roads were filled with less automobiles, and those moving after morning commute, all seemed out to pick up their iPhone 5 . both KT and SKT head-quarters had opening events, lined with still-eager fans almost THREE Months after States-side release . and it was good they instigated early-reservation process, for the rest seemed automatic . it now doesn’t seemed to matter whether you signed-up much-earlier for today it was first-come basis as long as you were within Batch #7, as #8 on-wards previewed to be released from Monday . from around 9am depending on the telecommunications branch you set as receiving point, it took another hour for the connection to come through due to mass sign-up .

as there were worries early-on on color-pealing especially on Black models from early purchasers, several opened their boxes to find corner dents, again the first in the line of iPhones to land on Korean shores . now there were THREE aspects to worry about on new phones, as Koreans were already sensitive to bad or dead pixels from early digital cameras, then light leak from initial iPads .

 

( Twilight ) Merry Christmas to some ~ due to over-all snow, even though NOT heavy, some telecommunication branches are starting to breath, thus even selective Batch up to #20 connectable today .. remains to be seen if this will hold after business-end commuting hours . inter-carrier transfer takes longer than switching phones OR new subscription .

 

 

[ UNLOCKED iPhone 5 Available from December 14th Friday ]

in another surprise move on iPhone 5, this time from Korean Apple On-Line Store - which is the ONLY Official Apple Store in South Korea . before-all, one clarification on the term UNLOCKED applied here . South Korea’s cellular regulating authority Korea Communication Commission requires all cell phones from July 1st 2010 to be carrier UNLOCKED . meaning, even the subscriptions mentioned so far above are all UNLOCKED physically . the only difference about the to-be UNLOCKED iPhone 5 from Korean Apple On-Line Store is that no subscription is mandatory .

  • Pro’s : you can choose either cellular telecommunication providers AND use UNLIMITED 3G data transfer, although much slower than the newer LTE, which now do come with Monthly limits,
  • Con’s : you will have to pay almost W1,100,000 up-front, instead of Monthly installments discounted by your carrier, which is substantial this time around – exactly because they wanted you to sign-up for the more expensive-but-faster LTE,
  • BUT : Korea Telecommunications Commission - which regulates cellular service – requires you to register your Nano-SIM first in either telecommunication branches . meaning : either you can cut your current Micro-SIM which was used for previous 3G service OR else will have to register anew .

 

UNLOCKED iPhone 5 in the States and expected Korean price :
iPhone 5 16GB . . . $649 . . . W 910,000
iPhone 5 32GB . . . $749 . . . W1,000,000
iPhone 5 64GB . . . $849 . . . W1,170,000

but the benefits can go either way, for you to fine-tune the Pro’s and Con’s specifically to your benefits and needs, including :

  • if you are short of front money : Official Korean Apple On-Line Store accepts 2~6 Month installment payment depending on local-issured Credit Cards, without Monthly interest,
  • and their 30-Day full-refund warranty, is a big plus if you are worried of any exterior dents - which are reported more today than previous iPhones, plus the usual bad or dead pixels and light leak .. Apple warranty mentioned more earlier above AND my Apple Support Pages on top menu .

 

  • both KT and SKT have pretty fair buy-back plans on your old cell phone,
  • KT offers W130,000 discount on 2 Year subscription with LTE620 Monthly Plan,
  • AND some discounters offering W230,000 on top of that mentioned on early reservation dates above,

 

  • even if you buy UNLOCKED : unlimited 3G Plan basic Monthly fee would start at W52,000

Korea Tech BLog recommends :

  1. scenario : if you are NOT sure you will be staying around the Korean Peninsula for more than 6 Months, better opt for the UNLOCKED from the Official Korean Apple On-Line Store, for civilized refund policy AND freedom in travel
  2. scenario : if you only call, and won’t be using the .Net, buy UNLOCKED and subscribe to the basic W12,000 Monthly talk, with 100MB date for W5,000 just in case
  3. scenario : moderate LTE user, subscribe to KT if you have found discounts comparable to above
  4. scenario : if you want to stick to SKT brand – no need to subscribe due to their recent cancelling penalty, so go UNLOCKED
  5. scenario : if you have been on the Peninsula for a while AND have a family, check all cell, land-line, cable-TV and internet service to see if you can package the whole family into one, and get mega discounts

 

DANGER ! DANGER ! WILL ROBINSON !

you should take the above contents as a casual read and NOT guide
for choosing a smart-phone is a vital part of metropolitan’s life
enchanting communication, business and entertainment

- this ain’t TiA BUT TMA -
Tertio Millennio Adveniente

_

 

[ LATEST KOREAN CELL PHONE TERMINOLOGY ]

” Ppo-Su Pon ” meaning bus phone

borne from Junior and High School students’ talk on dirt-cheap cell phones that can be bought with price comparable to a bus ticket . ofcourse exaggerated because a portion of its device price is spread in Monthly installments with voice plans, but points mostly to older sliding models with small LCD screen, compared to full-screen smart-phones . BUT since drastic discounts from telecommunications branches on the iPhone 5, revered as an uncompromising monolith, it also began to be called a bus phone, jokingly that is .

 

” Al-Ttool-Pon ” meaning frugal phone

 this is the latest development on cellular service front, as Korea Telecommunication Commission has allowed third parties aside from dominating KT, SKT and LGT to lease signals, where-as CJ is the largest contender, with Seven Eleven catching up . the clarity and data transfer is the same as they are renting signals, but with supposedly 20~30% discount of cell phone purchase as well as Monthly plans . still is looked upon the best to connect with an UNLOCKED phone . furthermore, its sales and support aspects are still to be seen . thus UNLOCKED iPhone 5 coming December 14th is also a candidate .

 

” Dae-Po Pon ” meaning cannon phone (as in bazooka)

name stuck for its lawless expenditure applicable to illegal activity, since it is a working device void of tracing identity of its user, perhaps despite actual owner . cell phones changed hands many times over visiting foreigners and certain pre-paid devices may slide into this category . above frugal phones are NOT, for you have to sign-up . and then there is its similar counter-part in automobiles : “Dae-Po Cha” the cannon car, without owner NOR insurance ..

better get back to the canny Korea Tech BLog, for we really do NOT want to realm towards the Dark Side,

_

 

( D-Day +1 Saturday Noon ) fascinating to see telecommunications branch personnel working over-night for the past Week and almost until 10pm last night . actually some hasty vendors shipped-out the day before, via now-South Korea’s Post Office alternative : next-day courier  so that their loyal customers can receive on actual release day . and come D-Day the reservation was packed and connection process without rest, that the ritual was : you go pick up your iPhone 5 and then had to wait almost 2 hours for the process to go through on-line, thus many branches gave-out drink coupons for coffee shops near by . thus those who got it late, will have to wait until Monday . normally sign-ups go on until Saturday afternoons, but big-daddy Korea Communications Commission is starting to issue brakes so that this won’t go out of hand, in every which way .

( D-Day +1 SunDown ) iPhone 5 distribution status : Hits and Misses

  • SHIPPING : some On-Line vendors have shipped-out ALL of early reservations which would amount to Batch #26, yesterday and bless them as most are taking the WeekEnd OFF after sleepless nights for a Week – the building block of how citizens throughout the Peninsula might have had to work and work during the military regime to get out of poverty . after-which the whole nation got lazy by investing in land-property, as the business-sector’s President and then people’s President, all whose family took turns biting a crunch out of the country, so-much-so that the original dictator’s descendants about to make a come-back – has been a LIVE orgel-cast from Korea Tech BLog .
  • DISCOUNT : from SKT branches may be halted now, no more – it has been a pleasure mumbling with you, folks

 

  • QUALITY CONTROL : Korean Apple-ppa’s (synonym for utmost fan-base) have been monitoring scratches on iPhone 5′s sleek corners abroad, but come release day quite a few are surprised by dents on the sides and some glue showing below transparent panels . plus the usual yellow screen, light leak BUT less bad or dead pixels as technology advances . still this may be a small number as only those with problems are likely to speak-out, especially considering roughly 20,000 units may have been sold over the first WeekEnd .
  • REFUNDS & EXCHANGE : the old tell-tale story of “medicine man” exist in this culture too, of selling /anything/ in the open market by sly persuasion alone . and the Korean Peninsula still is, despite all its i.T. information technology spurge to Global epidome . for vendors including telecommunications branches AND Apple-whatever resellers imply :
    • within 10 Days of purchase : you have to bring the device to Apple-contracted Support Centers to get authorization  then get it exchanged anew-box intact, at the point of purchase (making the customer ride the merry-go-round tactic)
    • within 30 Days of purchase : go to Apple-contracted Support Centers for exchange to a new one, but device alone so may be refurbished duh
    • within 14 Days of purchase on bad reception : contract retractable at point of purchase – is the ONLY legal protection – good to know the country is actually doing something, but NOT voluntarily though – without which consumers would be had as bonkers

 

  • DECEPTION THEORY & PARADOX : still, as if sync’ed with vendors or telecommunication companies, those support centers contracted with Apple will seldom grant a “defect” stamp on even visible dents mentioned above, not to mention already-existing light-leakage problems . and in this aspect, the 30-Day ReFund guarantee for the ONLY Official Apple Store in Korea which is On-Line, is the only civilized Life-Saver
  • MY BEAUTIFIL LAUNDRETTE OH, I MEAN A DAY WITH MY iPHONE 5 :
    • don’t preceive much the longer-than-4/4S length with apt casing,
    • mucho lighter than 4/4S
    • faster than the NEW iPad 3
    • no-wonder : battery shorter then 4/4S
    • no-wonder #2 : iPhone 4S speakers play better sound

 

Korea Tech BLog Officially name this iPhone 5 WeekEnd, for it is incredible from students to grand-mothers : the talk is out, even of unLocked – NOT knowing exactly unlocking what – sale imminent . only if they knew consumer can be King in an ideal democratic society . neither which is true in the Republic of Korea circa 2012 . but as there is always Hope for the Future : time still advances with prototype for iPhone 5S-to-be panel photos leaked, and news of competing SamSung Galaxy S4 coming on next April Fool’s

 

( December 10th Monday ) seems there is enough iPhone 5 to go around ALL of South Korea, as “iPhone 5 connectable immediately” signs abound on telecommunication branches (ofcourse discount feasibility has to be checked) and KT is releasing up to Batch #32 today 0o0

 

( and come Evening, the Ghosts of Sleepy Hollow ) Korea Tech BLog SHOUTS SCAM !!!
but to whom does the joke fall upon in the end ?

aptly due to immense number of iPhone 5′s released Friday, and then today Monday .. Korean open forums abound with pleas on what to do with dents, scratches, half-an-inch lines on LCD screens and leaking battery . these may be a small percentage considering massive sell-out, but it reveals the state of local consumer understanding, as well as the price of out-sourcing in a foreign land .

it is like a small airport in China, today . airline clerks toss tickets to buyers who are actually paying, then commands awaiting passengers to board . the tone being : you are lucky to ride on such a modern machine . scene-change to South Korea circa 1970 : not as out-right communist but people accustomed to strict military rule, with invasion threat propaganda from the North : when a person stepped into a store he/she was expected to buy .. until Cable-TV shopping lured business away from brick-and-motor store-fronts late 1990′s AND Japanese, European and even American retail branches opened shop on the Korean Peninsula over the Millennium (after-which Americans left from incompatible cultural differences, sure, of consumers but employees before - still incredible to witness Wal-Mart attendants simply taking time to enjoy comfortable employment, while Mega-Mart, its local counter-part all went out on the corridors selling).

and the tone of these unfortunate who have opened their iPhone 5 to see cracks, almost prisoners heading to the guillotine awaiting mercy of the sentencer . no such thing as “demanding” refund or exchange .

the latest hype is from a lad who opened to see the bottom HOME button deteriorated with bubbled molds underneath the glass AND the whole lower rim afront ribbed as if salvaged from the sunk Titanic . he went to the telecommunications branch where clerks balked this was NOT their responsibility, and sent to an Apple-contracted support center (where you go for repairs ?) where they read lines stating these cannot be considered defects duh . he finally insisted the two to call each other, then to call Apple Korea only to be informed this will take 6 Days to resolve . and ofcourse this is the chance national SamSung loyalists come out to blame and so on .

hence the price of NOT having an Apple Store when, hey the SECOND one in Hong Kong around the Pacific is opening at my favourite shopping mecca of Causeway Bay ! al-ways crowded with local youngsters, as opposed to the head-quarters of suave cosmopolitan businessmen : iFC Mall on the other side of Hong Kong island, where the first Apple Shop opened with shining might – where you should get yours fixed on your next leg of travel, or those cozy-but-still-Official Apple Stores lying on other cities than the Japanese Capital of Tokyo ;) My Favourite Osaka for I like the neighborhood and still have to check-out Fukuoka - where many locals went to grab iPads when again Korea was pushed into later release countries - and snow-covered Hokkaido .

to the tune of tonight’s theme song : “When Will I See You Again ?”

 

( December 13th Thursday ) a day BEFORE UNLOCKED iPhone 5 goes on sale at the ONLY Official Apple Store in South Korea which is On-Line .

Today’s theme is All-for-Nothing . as local brick-and-motor branches abound with similar discounts early-birds (No-No, you cannot call yourself an early adopter in this belated phase of launch compared with Global release) contemplated on the reservation dates a good Week ago -_-

a slight shifting of minus-and-pluses but as an example : you can get a 32GB at W660,000 for 2 Years subscription with KT, as long as you keep the hefty LTE72 price plan for the first THREE Months .

all this amidst announcement from the regulating Korea Communication Commission that the 3 telecommunication companies will face business-halt order in January, short of revealing for how many days . well at least they evaded the Christmas Holiday Season which is big in the Orient more for go-out-shopping than homely dinner . and then you have Lunar New Years, which IS ALL over-homely BreakFast, Lunch AND Dinner gulp //

 

 

( December 14th Friday Dawn ) in an ever-continuing saga-simulated ploy of Apple’s iPhone 5, its UNLOCKED model will begin selling on South Korea’s ONLY Official Apple Store On-Line from 8am . on its Eve a controversial price list siting cheaper-than earlier telecommunications companies’ has been leaked, with doubtful validity .

over-night, or rather a Week, the iPhone 5 has lost its yearning luster along with dissolving price, with ample stock AND discounts abound . but as again local consumers are being had for suckers, mighty ode deservingly dedicated to personnel working a telecommunication branches and its resellers, who worked long~ (as in barely sleeping for 4 days) hours over the past Week . and that is a /good/ thing for South Korea alike its geographic neighbors has not recovered from its Bubble Boom .

 

.. and from minutes BEFORE 8am UNLOCKED iPhone 5 went on sale On-Line at almost the price previewed a Week ago above, with posted ship-out date in another Week :

16GB W890,000 – 32GB W1,030,000 – 64GB W1,170,000

ofcourse NOT many have this amount in cash, more-over considering MileAge AND Points added on credit cards, most locals are opting to pay via plastic . unburdening load by simulating Monthly payment plans when subscribed to a carrier, and taking advantage of no-interest installments offered by credit card companies which usually do 3 Months and some 5 . this change Monthly and currently ShinHan Card, formerly LG, spreads-out 10 Month, and in an interesting turn : SamSung Card offers the longest in 12 Months .

note : Hana SK, Lotte and Citi Cards do NOT apply MileAge to installment payments .

 

[ iPhone 5 Carrier Subscription vs. UNLOCKED ]

- KT “Promotion Event” discount W130,000 on 2 Year subscription for LTE620 or higher Monthly price plan ends TODAY -

  • if you take moderate (slightly higher though) LTE plan on Subscibed
    vs. UNLIMITED 3G on UNLOCKED : the Monthly amount is in the same ball-park,
  • so it really comes down to this :
  1. if you are a long-time expatriate WITH local family Points accumulated AND/OR found tastey discount early On-Line OR currently in your neighborhood – Subscribe,
  2. if you plan to be in South Korea less than 6 Months OR have to continue with SKT (whose discount is about W100,000 less than KT over-all, WITH much higher CANCELLING penalties) – take the UNLOCKED,
  • another big thing to consider is whether you really need the much faster BUT battery-draining LTE, for general use : UNLIMITED 3G is enough (with acceptable drag surfing On-Line) AND much price-conscious,

 

over-all I would recommend iPhone 4S users to wait for the possibility of iPhone 5S coming next June in color assortment of iPod ..

this ends the THREE Months-long journey of the StarShip Enterprise Oh, I mean the release of iPhone 5 into South Korea . but don’t be too happy and rejoice all-over town, for today’s weather shows over-all rain AND snow on central region including metropolitan Capital, on top of snow-covered since below freezing temperature when early reservation began a Week ago .. so welcome to Skating Rink Korea ~

 

 

[ complimenting Post ] 12.9.15 Used iPhone Prices :
http://koreatechblog.com/apple/used-iphone-3gs-4-4s-going-rate-resale-price-as-new-iphone-5-introduction-release-imminent/

 

( January 7th 2013 Monday Update ) KT NOW ALSO LEVYING HARSH CANCEL PENALTIES

as updated way~ above last December 1st : SKT has begun its translated-Penalty3 where a subscriber who has been getting Monthly *discount on 1 OR 2 year plan, will have to pay-back the *discount if cancelling interim . SKT has implemented this from new sign-ups from November 1st 2012 .

KT announced right after Christmas on December 27th : they will begin this on new sign-ups from January 7th Monday, but on a last ditch to squeeze every potential subscriber, their vendors who had surprised us with unprecedented discounts from early-reservation day, are now offering nearly the low-rates until January 9th Wednesday . but hard-to imagine buying a new phone, when the whole Peninsula is stuck below freezing temperature since Christmas .
111106 LTE Plus 24Month contract cancelling penalty chart
Column 1 : Months subscribed
Column 2 : percentage to pay-back
Column 3 ~7 signed-up Plan

LGT is expected to follow soon here-after .
so its your last chance to buy iPhone 5 at a relatively good deal, if you have to subscribe AND intend to cancel before a horribly-long 2 years in iPhone-time
BUT soft-color variations of the iPod in iPhone 5S already looms on the horizon for the Semester -_0

 

 

( March 7th Update ) you can FeeL the next installment of iPhone in 5S is coming when you get calls from KT carrier branches, offering your old cell phone into iPhone 5 . basically

  1. NO additional price NOR installment payments on the NEW device, thus FREE
  2. as long as you subscribe to a fresh TWO-year plan

and depending on how you talk them into : you might get them to pay (a good portion of) your current mid-plan termination penalty, and even snug into a lower plan perhaps W35,000 a Month than the usual W65,000

*note : you simply CANNOT call them and ask for these terms, as it is not exactly something they would be proud of . still these offerings are NOT uncommon, for at year’s-end they can boast how many number of subscribers they have – even if they have to compromise on profits, and at times : loose money .