Apple’s latest flagship smartphone series will likely launch in South Korea next month, according to industry sources Friday.
Apple is preparing to sell its new smartphones -- the iPhone15, iPhone15 Plus, iPhone15 Pro and iPhone15 Pro Max -- on Oct. 13 in Korea, taking preorders a week ahead of the official release here, sources said.
If the tech giant rolls out its latest smartphone lineup on that date in Korea, it will be about a month after the company first unveiled the iPhone 15 series at a launch event in California on Sept. 12.
Apple will initially launch the latest smartphone lineup Friday in over 40 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, China, France, Germany and India, before a second round of releases in 21 countries, including Macau, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Korea has usually been a second-tier or third-tier group when it comes to iPhone launches. It was an exception when the iPhone14 series was released simultaneously with the first launch countries in October last year due to delays in supply of the iPhone14 Plus model.
The Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, a nonprofit consumer group based in Seoul, released a statement on Wednesday, saying, "Apple should stop disregarding Korean consumers."
The group also called Apple to include Korea in the first-tier group like neighboring countries such as Japan.
Last week, the iPhone maker unveiled the new series of its flagship smartphones for the first time through an event at Apple's headquarters in California. The new phones included a new titanium shell, a faster chip and improved video game-playing performance. Reflecting the sluggish smartphone market globally, it did not raise prices.
Despite Apple's surprise decision not to raise prices for the iPhone 15 series, some Korean consumers are dissatisfied. They claimed the prices here have technically been increased due to the weakening won.
"I decided to go to Japan this weekend to get the new iPhone. I can get one earlier there than waiting for another month to be out in Korea and the price is even cheaper amid weakening Japanese Yen," a 31-year-old iPhone user, surnamed Kim, told The Korea Herald.
Apple did not give clear answers regarding its late iPhone launch in Korea, but some market watchers blamed the radio certification process of the state-run National Radio Research Agency for the delay here.
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