Despite facing continuous issues with regulators, Apple is not giving up on South Korea — the home to Samsung and its biggest rival. The company has hired former Samsung’s corporate Vice President, Brandon Yoon, as its general manager for South Korea. Before Samsung, Yoon worked at Microsoft.
Apple recently opened its first retail store in South Korea despite working in an unfair business environment that has seen its offices being raided multiple times over the years. In fact, the company’s offices were raided right before the iPhone X launch as well.
Despite an unfair environment, Apple has managed to take some market share away from Samsung in its home market. In fact, in Q4, 2018, Apple shipped 1.5 million iPhones in Korea alone and took 28.3 percent of the market share. Samsung, in comparison, shipped 2.4 million smartphones and captured 46 percent of the market.
Samsung executives share a close relationship with the South Korean government and regulators. They have used this to their advantage to make functioning difficult for Apple in the region. The Conglomerate used this relationship to its advantage as Lee Jay-yong, heir to Samsung group, bribed regulators to get government support for the company’s restructuring and gaining larger control over it. This, however, led to him being sentenced to five years in prison.