According to a release by GfK, demand for 4G LTE smartphones in South Korea is growing at a wildly fast pace. Over the past year, the country’s $5.45B smartphone market recorded ~11 million units sold. Right now, as much as 85% of all mobile phones in South Korea are smartphones.
Clearly the market is booming, and it seems high speeds are a dominant force for South Korea’s growth. Like the US, South Korea does not currently have nationwide 4G coverage, but GfK claims that every inch of the country will soon have coverage within the year.
This surge in consumer demand has also apparently led manufacturers to “introduce more new and exciting LTE smartphones in the market. From 2 models available in the market last September, consumers now have options of over 49 LTE smartphone models to cherry pick from.”
From Mr. Moongen Kwon, General Manager of GfK Korea:
With the country’s high Internet connectivity, users have a more compelling reason to upgrade their telecommunication device from the basic feature phone to the more advanced smartphone. Last year, over four in five mobile phones purchased were smartphones, making us a nation with one of the fastest rate of adoption and highest level of penetration in the world.
South Korea’s growth sets a high bar for competing technological hubs around the world, and this is definitely a good thing. North America and Europe need to be pushed for faster speeds and constant connectivity, or else we’ll simply fall behind.