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Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 03:55 pm PT (06:55 pm ET)

South Korean iPhone 4 preorders hit 130K in first 13 hours

Preorders for the iPhone 4 in South Korea were so overwhelming Wednesday that they brought down the servers of carrier KT Corp., which sold 130,000 handsets by 7 p.m. local time.

According to The Korea Herald, customers in South Korea showed significant demand for the iPhone 4 when it went on sale via KT's website and at its 2,900 shops nationwide. The phone went on sale at 6 a.m. and sold 100,000 by 1 p.m. local time, eventually reaching 130,000, 13 hours after preorders began.

The numbers are a significant increase from last December, when the iPhone 3GS sold 60,000 units at launch. The iPhone 4 is set to launch in Kora sometime in September.

Demand for the iPhone 4 was so strong in South Korea that KT had to expand the server for its website. The site was crashing throughout the day as customers attempted to preorder Apple's latest handset. KT is the second-largest carrier in the country.

South Korea's preorder troubles are not unique — carrier AT&T experienced similar difficulties in June, when customers could first place their order for the iPhone 4. Demand for Apple's newest smartphone was ten times higher on opening day than it was for its predecessor, the iPhone 3GS.

Apple later announced that more than 600,000 preorders were achieved on the first day of iPhone 4 sales. The handset launched in June in the U.S., France, Germany, the U.K. and Japan. Apple plans to quickly ramp up the iPhone 4 international launch to 87 total countries by September, its fastest-ever global deployment of a new handset.