The release of the iPhone 5 in South Korea is slower than was originally expected. It was supposed to be released on the 2nd of November, but that was postponed and customers who would like to buy an iPhone 5 still do not know exactly when it will be released. Some sources are thinking that domestic carriers will start carrying the iPhone 5 on November 26. However, as it has not been confirmed yet, that date is also in question.
Korea has not been included in the first or second waves of countries the iPhone 5 was released to. There is word that the Korea might not be even included in the third wave. Initially, the iPhone 5 was released in 9 countries in September; Japan, United States, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and Singapore. A week later, it was released in 22 more countries; Austria, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia. The date when the third wave will be released is still unknown.
There are several different reasons why the introduction of the iPhone 5 has been delayed. Domestic carriers SK Telecom and KT both give different reasons. SK Telecom reported that the government certification of the iPhone 5 was delayed. KT claims that the certification of the iPhone has gone according to schedule but there has been a shortage of parts.
Samsung has a large share of the domestic market and its smartphones have been selling very well domestically. The market iPhone market in Korea is also rather small compared to the world market. Many Koreans who already have iPhone 4s are probably still stuck with a two year contract, thus, only a small number will upgrade to the newest model.