iPhone 12 Could Launch Earlier than Usual in South Korea

A report from The Korea Herald claims that Apple could launch its new iPhone 12 lineup in South Korea earlier than usual in a bid to attract more 5G customers. Officials at various telecom operators in South Korea are preparing for the launch of the iPhone 12 lineup in late October or early November.

Apple tends to launch its new iPhones in the second or third launch wave in South Korea. The iPhone 11 lineup went up for sale in South Korea on October 25, more than a month after they were first officially unveiled on September 20. However, with the iPhone 12 lineup supporting 5G and telecom operators in South Korea already having their 5G networks, Apple has seemingly decided to bring forward the launch of its upcoming iPhones in the country.

South Korea was among the first countries in the world to launch 5G networks. It already has nearly 8 million 5G users as of July this year since the launch of 5G networks in April 2019. Despite this though, most network operators are yet to roll out 5G on the mmWave frequency due to which analysts believe consumers will not immediately notice the speed improvements brought about by 5G networks. Rolling out 5G on the mmWave frequency is expensive since its signals cannot penetrate walls and other objects easily. This means operators need to have more 5G nodes which makes it an expensive proposition, though the gigabit+ speeds promised by 5G are only possible on the mmWave frequency.

Apple is expected to launch four iPhone 12 models this year: the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. Rumors indicate only the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will feature mmWave 5G connectivity, with others supporting 5G on the sub-6GHz band. Deploying 5G on the sub-6GHz band is easier and cheaper for network operators but it only brings about a 10-20% increase in data speeds.

Samsung dominates the South Korean smartphone market with a 67 percent market share, with Apple a distant second having a 19 percent market share.

[Via Korea Herald]