Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New lifestyle, office culture brings Smartphone

New lifestyle, office culture brings Smartphone...
The recent launch of the iPhone is bringing about remarkable changes in the local consumer market and offering challenges to related industries in the country. This is the first of a four-part series on the changes and challenges in the local smartphone market. - Ed.
Jung Hye-won, a 29-year-old PR manager for BK S&P, a local business solution provider, threw away her big, heavy suitcase after she bought an iPhone last week.

"I frequently move around and I had to carry my laptop, camera, MP3 player, PDA, mobile phone and cables to connect them," she said.

The iPhone freed her from the chore of carrying the heavy load.

"I feel much lighter and my work-life seems to have become much easier than before. I also don't have to look for coffee houses that offer Wi-Fi networks anymore. With this smartphone, I can check e-mail and surf the Web anytime, anywhere," she said.

Jung is one of a growing number of iPhone users in Korea who enjoy new lifestyle benefits offered by the smartphone, which is developed and manufactured by U.S. IT giant Apple.

According to KT, Korean customers snapped up 250,000 iPhones as of Jan. 10, less than 50 days after the phone was released here. KT, the country's second-largest mobile carrier, is an official partner with Apple in charge of selling iPhone products and receiving after-sale service requests.

To date, no other mobile has reached more than 250,000 unit sales in less than 50 days, according to a KT official, even though the market has been dominated by popular phones manufactured by Samsung and LG.

Other smartphones have changed office culture as well, asking employees to be more time efficient.

"I am a slave to my smartphone because I have to check my e-mail 24 hours a day. Now I can't give the excuse to my boss that I couldn't check my e-mail because I was away from the office," said Chung Seong-jun, senior associate of the equity sales team at Daewoo Investment and Securities.

Chung added that it is better to send messages to his clients abroad with his Blackberry than talking on the phone.

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