this Post starts 2 nights before Apple’s announcement of anticipated iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5th Generation,
with portions appended as the hour nears, then results after announcement inserted starting in purple paragraphs

as South Korea is enjoying a Golden Weekend with Monday September 3rd as National Foundation Holiday when the “Heavens” are supposed to have “Opened”
it is also eve to the joyful prelude technologically-modern humans have come to celebrate post-Millennium ..
yes, the coming of another iPhone and iPod Touch 😉 yeepee ~

mind-you : iPod Touch is an iPhone WITHOUT the phone,
thus all the goodies intact except calling fuction .


[ Prelude to Foundation um, I mean iPhone 5 ]

just short of ‘A Brief History of Time’ by Professor Hawking :
a now-technologically advanced AND its citizens enjoying every nano-second of it, South Korea had passed-out on the Original AND 2nd iPhone
(all-the-while enjoying the lesser BUT just as good enough only WITHOUT the /phone/ in iPod Touch)
then the most adventurous and curious trying-out iPhone 3 .

but by the time iPhone 4 was released last year it was the latest trend
so everyone was out to grab a bite of it, although expensive
still no long lines waiting in front of the Apple Store
( for 1. South Korea does NOT have a /real/ Apple Store
and 2. Koreans are much accustomed to buying on-Line, even s.e.x. or rather, exchanging information for)

the same goes for the iPad, for a good portion of the whole nation awaited iPad 2 this April, after trials of the Original iPad by experimenters “trying the waters”.

add to this, the rather unannounced releases of MacBook Air
formed a whole new fad for everything Apple
and larger (though NOT really an) Apple Store wanna-be’s popped-up on larger shopping complexes AND major intersections .
and following the infamous quote from the movie ‘Field of Dreams’
i.e., “if you Build it, People will Come” oh yes they came to fill the stores where only graphic designers used to drop by now-and-then counting up to the end of the last Decade .


[ Battle of Korean Telecommunication Giants ]

this was also the time when KT (the South Korean Telephone Company which took over second-running KTF Telecommunications)
took competing fore-runner SK Telecommunications or SKT by surprise hand-in-hand with Apple
catching the adoration of the South Korean trend-set
suddenly setting up more and more Wireless Access Points called Olleh Zones throughout concentrated populating metropolis .

Trend was a strong force among a culture with similar looks and tastes .
but it is now taking its toll, for fiercely trying-to-compete-any-way-known-to-man SamSung is introducing mighty varied Galaxies
which is much atuned to the Original telecommunication services local SKT AND KTF/KT offered locally, such as two-phone-number capability and SMS message saving, to name a few among roughly fifty services which Koreans have been accustomed to since the dawn of casual cell  phones since mid-nineties .

plus this time around, SKT is ready to introduce iPhone 5 almost simultaneously with KT, so the buying (virtual) line would be more spread-out .


[ While in another Galaxy ..]

from the Korean War onwards : consumers are always exposed to products lined up by one of the handful of conglomerate business groups in South Korea .
it is instigated by a will to sell no-matter-what, for if a product is NOT good enough to be sold, it is soon backed by sheer advertisement, regularly insisted upon (to contracting company employees) and in extreme situations : given away ~

if you are a long user – say more than 3 years – of an internet local provider ( and recent competition have struck to even single-year subscribers for cable TV )
it is NOT unusual to receive a phone call from the station offering the latest speed cable still in testing, for your same current price .

like-wise, although more rare : you get a call from an intermediary they will /exchange/ your current (NOT iPhone) for a Season-old but new SamSung Galaxy . careful : for spam calls abound in South Korea as any techno-nation, but soon you realize it is the /real/ stuff .

yes, you get a brand new Galaxy in one-older version
and they get ONE more person who owns a Galaxy instead of an iPhone on their Official Record //

but all this is pure Greed to sell, as some extremes are not necessary in an old country as Korea .
as much as the newer, newer, and newest generation are all-out for the latest fad, many still feel confortable with what they have been used to in Chinese-made Korean cell phones .

also, peninsula-unique cultural factors come into play, as older generation brought-up on military propaganda (from the on-set of Vietnam War to Seoul Olympics) will usurp a cell phone recommended by their piers, relative, sales-person or advertisement .

*the choice of iPhone-or-Galaxy /seems/ simple much in favour of Apple to the tune of manic Global trend, but not-so when considering Korean cell phones more adept with existing services available on local carriers (telecommunications company) –


( continued soon )

[ Korean Dilemma in 2010’s : SamSung Galaxy OR Apple iPhone ] [ cell phone subscription choices in South Korea ]


[ Choosing between SKT or KT Carrier ]

it is common concensus among long-time cell phone users as well as young trend setters with sensitive ears, that Korea’s leading telecommunications company SKT has better technology as well as relay stations for clear transimission .

the only culprit when deciding for iPhone was that earlier iPhones as well as iPads were available ONLY in conjuction with KT, who is originally a land-line company who has merged with Korea’s second telecommunications company KTF .

to overcome their technological shortcoming AND to boost their early availability with Apple, KT has been offering uncomparably more FREE Wi-Fi zones throughout the country, as well as attractive subscription rates such as couple plans where calls are FREE when talking to your partner .

but the hype AND monopoly is slowing down as SKT is now positioning to offer early iPhones too .
but note SKT is more rigid about changing devices although both carriers mostly do NOT allow phone changes within 3~6 months of sign-up .

also important among frequent travelers as well as expatriates would the different roaming services each carriers offer . for example they have contracts with different foreign carriers and here again, KT is trying hard to lure with rentable Wi-Fi Egg devices for Japan and the States as well as designated China and Japan numbers that you keep instead of getting a new number every time you travel .

wait, what about LG Telecomm ? dum dubi dum dum


in short : if you mostly make calls SKT is clearer,
and if subscribing to Wi-Fi take SKT also because KT has uncomparably more FREE Wi-Fi Zones .
but if you plan to change devices soon go for KT with more lenient policies .


( coming soon )

[ whether to 3G or Wi-Fi ]


[ D-Day or rather Preview Hour : Korea time 2am Wednesday October 5th 2011 ]

several possible scenarios are up for grabs on which kind of new iPhone AND/OR iPod models will be introduced in the States
also much speculation if South Korea will again be thrust back in line to later import dates .

among the possibilies are iPhone 4S instead of iPhone 5 OR both
also whether White will be introduced this time in conjuction with the usually forth-coming Black  .
‘4S’ would mean an improved version of the current iPhone 4 with the same over-all design,
while iPhone 5 would imply a new design closer to the current thinner metalic iPod 4th Generation .

but as the iPad 2 craze this past March, some Korean webstores are testing their reservation (NOT sale) pages this Weekend, thus appearing then dissappearing after a while
AND some enthusiasts signing early-on for reserve, only to ask cancel after realizing the page is gone -_-

from product images shown in a glimpse on those pages however
chances are good mainline iPhone 5 will be introduced in both colors simultaneously :
( below are unconfirmed snapshots of temporary pages )


( October 5th Wednesday Midnight Update )
other temporary sales pages are being witnessed as on the Japanese Apple On-Line Store
for an Apple iPhone 4S was revealed for a while an hour prior to US announcement
stating sale from October 14th next Friday from 8am at Apple Stores throughout Japan .
also at Japan’s Northern-most island Capital of Sapporo :


soon-after top page of Japanese Apple Store went into construction mode stating “We’ll be back soon”
and the same status on Korean Apple Store from 20 minutes counting-down to US announcement .


[ iPhone 4 in 8GB ]

also speculated is the availability of the most basic version of current 4 in minimal memory capacity . and if so, would it be worth buying ?

ofcourse, but considering iPhone AND iPod are much used as an ultra-portable camera, this would be testing its limits for 8GB would fall short to keep a load of souvenir shots of 4 days traveling .
as an example, if you use photograph-intensive social networking apps such as instagram and WhosHere extensively and continue to collect pictures within, you will eventually run out of space in about 1~3 months (ofcourse the amount will vary even considerably, but this is just to give an idea to the laymen)

aside from this, the vast array of applications consume much less space so should be of no worry .
still, 8GB is out of your shopping list if you plan to use an iPhone much as an mp3 player too .

( post-announcement Update )
iPhone 4 in 8GB is currently on sale in the States as well as neighboring Japan
where-as only iPhone 3GS is available in 8GB in South Korea .


[ Newly Available Models ]
Updated 4am Wednesday October 5th after Apple announcement

iPod Shuffle . . 2GB. $49
iPod nano . . . 8GB $129 . . 16GB $149
. . . . . . . . . . W179,000 . . W199,000
iPod touch in Black OR White. . . 8GB $199 . . 32GB $299 . . 64GB $399
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W269,000 . . W399,000 . . W549,000
iPhone 4S in Black OR White . . 16GB $199 . . 32GB $299 . . 64 GB $499
(with 2 years subscription)

pre-Orders from October 7th and Sale from 14th
in the States and Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan
then second tier from October 28th onto Singapore, Mexicao, Scandinavia and Europe .


for South Korea :
new iPod nano currently available,
new iPod Touch Black currently available,
new iPod Touch White available from October 12th,

with actual photos on Japanese Apple On-Line Store :


umph -_- What is the DIFFERENCE between iPhone 4 AND iPhone 4S ?
and are the hardware exterior Design, Dimension AND Weight the SAME ?

Apple’s Official Comparison between iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S :

in simple terms :

  1. the Processor has been upgraded from Apple Single-Core A4 to Dual-Core A5,
  2. Camera resolution improved from 5 MegaPixel to 8 and added face detection,
  3. Video Capture is larger from 720p to 1080p with added video stabilization but both remain 30fps,
  4. Siri intelligent Voice Assistant is on iPhone 4S and NOT iPhone 4
    in American/British/Australian English, German and French
    ( with Japanese added later on iOS5.1 ),
  5. Battery Life a tad longer from approximately 7 hours to 8 talk time NOT from larger Battery BUT from enhanced energy-saving technology in iPhone 4S,
  6. Weight is a miniscule 3 grams heavier in iPhone 4S,
  7. exterior dimension is /almost/ the same
    BUT cannot use hard-cover casings intented for earlier iPhone 4,


( Post-Script Well After Release ) a fellow commuter in a subway train won’t be able to tell the difference from your iPhone 4 and 4S . but as a new owner you will be a more /sensitive/ user with higher resolution visual captures unconsciously pixelating the World around you – although NOT more intelligent, for Siri is merely a bunch of answers pre-connotated than real artificial intelligence -_-

and upgrading from iPhone 4 to 4S you will soon realize this new model is a tad faster with less or no delays on demanding apps, plus eventual crashes reduce drastically .




now-and-then, PRIOR to the frantic reservation or early sign-up phase counting down to commencement of actual sale
comes up some self-acknowledged /Official/ Branch of SKT or KTF putting up signs accepting reservations
OR webpages designed /exactly/ like SKT’s or KT/KTF’s
taking early reservations .

the dangerous part is that they ask for your name, date-of-birth and even citizen’s or alien registration number .


compared to this, an “UnOfficial” sign-up which has come onto practice this March while a bulk of the nation was buckling for iPad 2, is safe
where you give them only your phone number, to be notified when the shipment does come in . meaning, you can change your mind there-after .
this is even showing up at a major department store in Busan or Pusan several hours before Apple’s Official announcement on October 3rd .

valid sign-up begins ONLY after announcement from either of the above telecommunication sites or Apple’s own Korean webpage .


[ How Early Sign-Up or Reservation works in South Korea ]

here is the ritual processed whenever a popular mobile device is about to begin sale – also applicable for portable Wi-Fi Eggs – necessary for device OR service requiring monthly payment installments :

  1. when on on-Line reservation begins, nano-seconds matter and those who have the tenacity to hold re-clicking a webpage when it is in process, will come out as the eventual winner ..
  2. mostly for on-Line order : you give all necessary personal information
    including you name, citizen OR alien registration, intended cell number, address, bank account OR credit card AND sign (which can be done on-Line via your current cell number varification OR through bank security devices)
  3. when actual sale date comes AND the store has the device in stock
    they will give you a “Happy Call” in the form of voice conversation, to verify your identity as well as all the terms you set initially . this is the last chance you have to cancel or if possible alter, before valid subscription begins .
  4. if ordering on-Line, you will receive the device almost the next day .

( alternative unofficial reservation requires only your phone number )


[ Neighboring Japan Release of iPhone 4S ] October 7th Update

although disappointed like the rest of the World on Apple announcing iPhone 4S instead of 5
early reservation which began today in Japan, saw gathering of the Virtual mass deserving for the country of Otaku or electronics and figure-collecting geek/nerd
to brace for a Week from today Friday October 14th 8am. when each buyer will be allowed to buy up to 2 each .

( November 9th update ) Price differences between countries
Official retail price of Apple iPhone 4S 32GB in :

  • South Korea via SKT & KT W946,000
  • U.S. $749. plus Sales Tax in Korean Won 918,000
  • Japan via SofBank Y57,600 in Korean Won 821,000




as of today it is presumed : a couple of new iPhones AND iPods may be Officially released around end of October 2011
by SKT, KT AND Apple’s On-Line Store which takes orders to be shipped from China .

( ambiguity ) in model names of 4S OR 5 ..

as of post-announcement morning Wednesday October 5th :
for South Korea : immediate application from this Apple announcement would only be the added availability of iPod Touch 4th Generation in White -_-

South Korea is NOT on the first NOR second tier of countries to release iPhone 4S
– South Korea may be taken a special zone that is independent of the announced “Tier” countries, considering mighty competition among local models –
and is now expected to dig into November or even December with competing SamSung blockade scenarios (which may well be inflicted on international sales) adding to Korean government’s electro-magnetic device authorization time //
but Korean introduction price is expected to be the same for iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S .


and because of this,
those contemplating to buy an iPhone 4S abroad for use within South Korea : (deducting from previous models)

  • US version would be country-locked,
  • Japanese may be locked, (as of October 7th when early reservation started : both au and SoftBank is expected to release SIM-locked models)
  • Singapore would be unlocked,
  • Australia would be unlocked but may unlock if inquired,

alternatively a factory-locked version would work by inserting your USIM chip .
in any case : importing foreign cell phones from abroad for use within South Korea requires simple sign-up registration at Korea Communications Commission .

this used to cost almost $ Korean Won to sign-up individually but the laws have loosened since the manic days of the original iPad
in that one person would now be allowed free passage of a single device //

most Apple products are World warranty BUT unconviently for the case of iPhones AND iPad 3Gs in South Korea : if it is NOT purchased within the Penninsula, it has to be serviced abroad .



related links :

SKT Official Site

SKT Official on-Line Store

KT Official Site

KT Official on-Line Store

CAUTION : there have been similar webpage addresses ofslighty different spelling combinations with /exactly/ same designs accepting early reservations even requiring sensitive personal information !!!



( coming soon )

[ Where to Buy an iPhone 5 ] [ how about a used SamSung AnyCall 2G cell phone in the iPhone age ]


– Thank You for visiting Korea Tech BLog –
at another moment of stylish, technological hype, October 2011


( October 18th update )

  1. Apple iPod Touch (i.e., iPhone WITHOUT “phone” capability) WHITE with the new iMessage, began selling on Apple Korea Official On-line Store, promptly delivered the next business day,
  2. on hinting the weakness of Apple Korea, which is more of a product(NOT even customer)-support-contractor AND lameness of Korean telecommunication companies – against – ever growing consumer power/greed/yearning wishfullness of iPhone fans lurking on the Korean Penninsula :
    KT AND SKT consecutively announced (as if geez ~ ain’t there more things to promote when they’re NOT even sellin’da stuff ?) the FIRST Apple iPhone 4S user to sign-up *individually with their telecommunications carrier .
    ofcourse these are devices bought abroad AND signed-up individually with Korean electromagnetic device regulations, then signed-up with either of the KT/SKT carriers .
    with the actual “first” users achieving almost movie star status with seemingly “fan” following on related on-line communities .. this, another low’s – of Apple moment in South Korea duh


( October 26th update ) iPhone 4S passing Korean Radio Wave Registration to sell next month ..

yesterday Apple has applied iPhone 4S for Radio Wave Registration at Korea National Radio Research Agency – a mandatory procedure to sell cell phones in South Korea – and will probably get the authorization in a Week .

soon-after, the two major cell phone carriers SKT and KT (formerly KTF) will take early reservations for a Week and will start selling around Mid-November 2011.



( November 2nd update ) Apple iPhone 4S will start selling in South Korea from 11th

South Korea’s largest telecommunications company KT will start taking early reservations from 4th on-line as well as all their branch offices to start selling Apple iPhone 4S from 11th November 2011 .

KT will have a launching ceremony at 8am in their main building ground floor Olleh Square inviting 100 applicants .

also promoted are special prices for current iPhone 4 subscribers .


and the ultimate question : “Should I buy an iPhone 4S ? in South Korea”
deserving for the most /virtual/ society in the World : iPhone is the latest craze in South
but short of being the kid with the latest iPhone on the block, there are many things to consider :

  1. foremost the paradox that comes with any zap-developed nation with a long~ traditional culture .
    in the ‘old’ sense : the many tastey options from Korean cell phone makers as well as carriers are NOT available on the iPhone such as two-number capability .
    and in the ‘newest’ sense : South Korea is already well-heading for 4G LTE
    as any current 3G users have had headaches waiting for the slow data transmission -_-
  2. the latest phone is NOT new no more in a Season or two .
    all the same whether you are upgrading from 2G, Android/Galaxy, iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4
    and then there is the easy question of going White ..
  3. but the greatest aspect to consider is the fact that the two carriers is bracing for a major battle on iPhone 4S grounds so consumers might have the best deal of all times, especially considering iPhone 4S is considered a minor upgrade of all iPhone model changes .
    SKT as the original numero-uno cell phone carrier in South Korea who lost ground to KT with the influx of iPhone, is eager to win more subscribers back with simultateous release of iPhone 4S as KT, while they were a month or two slower before .
    and KT would do /anything/ to hold onto current subscribers by offering “free” iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4S ugrades and W120,000 off the latest iPhone 4S (all offers unofficially presumed)



( November 5th update ) Korea Telecommunications War is on for the Planet of Tatooine, um I mean iPhone 4S in South Korea
for those upgrading from iPhone 3GS OR iPhone 4 ..

as predicted, fierce competition between SKT – the fore-runner on cell phone carriers – and KT – the recent “bad guy” who took reign with the influx of iPhone AND iPads into South Korea – began with unprecedented discounts more-so, to hold onto customers who would think iPhone 4S is much less of a new model OR a substantial upgrade -_-

calculations are complex depending on which Apple cell phone AND subscription you have been using but over-all still would even-out if you sold your old iPhone and start anew with iPhone 4S .

a keen difference however comes with restrictions
as SKT will ONLY accept upgrade price discounts if you have been using “unhacked” iPhone 3GS
while KT as usual will loosen their rules to included “hacked” iPhone 3GS as well as users of iPhone 4 .

still other price factors come into place if you are switching carriers though ..


( November 18th Friday update ) yes competition is between SKT and KT for Apple iPhone 4S when the fourth Telecommunication Company in South Korea after LGT is up for grabs, BUT this does NOT mean iPhone 4S is selling like pancakes as earlier models or iPad .

after the usual rite of die-hard Apple fans waiting to get iPhone 4S on release date of 11th, it is overall getting the cold-shoulder mostly because :

  1. short-tempered in the mist of a massive populace AND spoiled in information technology, Koreans want faster thus, going for LTE even though sevice is limited to Seoul Metropolis,
  2. a bulk of Apple-lites would wait for iPhone 5 expected early next year,
  3. the show-off psyche is nil, for one cannot tell the difference between iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S in the subway duh,



inter-related Posts :
09.2.9 Largest Apple Store in Korea Open in Seoul,
09.2.6 Apple iPhone 3GS Launch in Korea – available Models, Versions and Price to us KT,
10.8.15 Apple iPhone 4 Official Release in South Korea,
10.8.16 Where to Buy, How to Use and How Much to Sell Apple iPad in Seoul, Busan, South Korea,
10.10.5 Apple iPad Begin Sale South Korea Early Sign-Up Reservations,
11.3.15 Apple iPad 2 Release Date Seoul Busan South Korea,

and dedicated Pages to hold true for over a year :
Apple Store Directory Korea,
Apple Support Centers in South Korea,
Apple Korea F.A.Q. ,