Apple iPad Availability Extends to South Korea This Month

The South Korean mobile telecom operator, KT, says the company will offer the Apple iPad to consumers in the country starting on November 30.

In anticipation of strong demand, the company started accepting preorders on November 17, and has already secured about 50,000 unit sales directly from the pre-orders.

With over a week until the hot tablet becomes available for in-store purchase, pre-sales could top 100,000 units.

KT offers the iPad for 218,000 won (USD $192) with a term, or up to 850,000 won (USD $748) contract-free.

Since the company launched the tablet about 11 months ago, demand has remained very strong, with over 7-million units sold to date.

Rival Research In Motion (RIM) has already unveiled its iPad competitor, the PlayBook, which is slated for a first quarter launch next year, at a price tag below $500, according to company executives.

 The success of the iPad is largely attributable to having the most number of quality applications available, with the same seamless user experience found on the company’s iPhone.

Competitors are now scrambling to slow the growing success of Apple iOS powered devices like the iPad by realizing the importance of a comparable user experience with advanced media features and a wide assortment of third party applications.

In a move to provide incentives to developers in making applications for the new PlayBook, Research In Motion went as far as offering programmers free PlayBook devices to those who get their applications approved by the company to be sold its mobile application store App World.

Analysts are concerned about the viability of the PlayBook given RIM is marketing the product as an enterprise device, and because of the late launch date which will miss this year’s holiday shopping season.

By the time RIM launches the PlayBook, Apple would be readying the launch of its second-generation iPad, which could include superior features to the PlayBook given the time lag between PlayBook product feature announcements and product launch.

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Ramy holds a Bachelor in Health Studies with honors in Health Management from York University in Toronto, Canada. He just returned to Toronto following a career opportunity teaching English in South Korea. Write to [email protected]
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