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As Apple continues its international iPhone 4S rollout, combined sales of the new handset from South Korean carriers KT and SK Telecom reached 200,000 units when pre-orders opened on Friday, with the unexpectedly high traffic causing the companies' websites to crash at one point, reports local news site Chosunilbo.
First day South Korean sales of the 4S beat those of Samsung's Galaxy S II, which tallied only 120,000 over three days in its native country despite accumulating 3 million pre-orders worldwide after being launched in April. The record demand for Apple's newest handset outpaced pre-orders for the previous generation iPhone 4 in the region, which totaled 130,000 in August 2010.
Samsung is still considering whether to file an injunction that would bar Korean sales of Apple's device as part of its worldwide patent battle against the iPhone maker. The Galaxy handset manufacturer has filed suits against Apple disputing 3G standards patents in many international courts, which has led to an investigation of Samsung by the European Commission over possible antitrust issues.
Recently, South Korea repealed a nearly two year ban on iOS games stemming from complaints by the country's Games Ratings Board. A localized App Store was subsequently opened and granted users access to iOS content without the need find workarounds via international iTunes accounts.
Elsewhere in Asia, pre-orders of the iPhone 4S in Hong Kong reportedly sold out in the first 10 minutes of availability. Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White viewed the crushing demand as a "very positive sign" for Apple in Greater China, while suggesting that Mainland China should being carrying the handset in December.
The iPhone 4S is set to ship on Nov. 11 in South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, and Romania.