Apple may leverage existing 5G market in South Korea with earlier launch
Apple may launch its "iPhone 12" lineup in South Korea earlier than in past years to take advantage of the country's existing 5G services and users.
Although Apple hasn't announced a second fall keynote event, consensus agrees that an "iPhone 12" launch event will take place in October. According to leaker Jon Prosser, the keynote could be slated for Oct. 13, with new models shipping Oct. 23.
In past years, new iPhone models have hit shelves in South Korea about one month after they went on sale in other countries. But local telecom sources are telling The Korea Herald that Apple could release new 5G-equipped models in the country early, around late October or early November.
South Korea was the first country in the world to commercialize broadband service in 2019, The Korea Herald adds. There are about 8 million 5G users as of July 2020. That's compared to about 1.18 million 5G users in all of North America by the end of Q1 2020, according to analytics firm Omdia.
Additionally, South Korea may be one of a handful of countries to get access to new iPhone models equipped with faster mmWave service. TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasts that all four "iPhone 12" models will get 5G compatibility, but only those sold in certain countries will get mmWave.
According to The Korea Herald, Apple's "iPhone 12" may also be the first smartphone in the country to support the faster 5G spectrum since none of Samsung's 5G devices currently do.
Apple is largely expected to release four "iPhone 12" models in 2020, including a 5.4-inch "iPhone 12 mini" and a 6.1-inch "iPhone 12." Rumors indicate that there will be two " iPhone 12 Pro" models, available in a 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch form factor.
The Cupertino tech giant is currently the number two smartphone brand in South Korea behind Samsung with a 19% share of the market, according to Counterpoint Research data.