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Korean release of iPhone 5 in question

Publication Date : 08-10-2012


The launch date of Apple’s new iPhone 5 in Korea remains shrouded in mystery despite the gadget being ready for takeoff, having received government approval here.

The iPhone 5 was found to be compatible with local radio waves less than a week after it was unveiled on its home turf of the US last month.

All wireless gadgets require such government authorisation before they can be sold in the Korean market.

The faster-than-usual move from the Cupertino-based IT behemoth had touched off anticipation that the iPhone 5 may be rolling out earlier than many had expected ― possibly by the first week of this month.

However, all that is confirmed so far is that the latest iPhone will be serviced by the country’s top two mobile carriers ― SK Telecom and KT.

But, the two telecoms are unable to release the launch date for the iPhone 5 since Apple does not give them notice. The company instead posts the announcement first on its website.

Some consumers and industry insiders are now guessing that the delay may be due to a lack of iPhone 5 parts in supply.

Thousands of Chinese workers at Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple’s new smartphone, reportedly went on strike last Friday to protest their working conditions on the iPhone 5 production lines.

The strike went on for several hours on that day, paralysing the production lines with it likely to deeply impact Apple which is already experiencing a supply shortfall in many areas. Foxconn, however, denied the report.

Japan-based Sharp had also been suspected of being partly responsible for the supply shortfall of the iPhone 5 as it was reportedly struggling to meet demand for display screens.

Apple said on September 25 that over 5 million units of the iPhone 5 were sold in the first three days, which was disappointing to many investors who set their estimates at least 1 million units higher.

With Apple saying that it is working hard to deliver the new handset, US media outlets confirmed that many Apple retail stores are reporting low inventory.


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