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October 2, 2011

Smartphone Users in South Korea to Touch 20 Million by end of 2011

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Mobile OS Market Share

The number of smartphone subscribers in South Korea hit 15 million this week, according to data from the country's three mobile operators released Wednesday.

South Korean smartphone subscribers numbered 15.35 million as of Monday, including 7.8 million users at the industry leader SK Telecom, 5.45 million at KT Corp. and 2.1 million at LG Uplus Corp., the mobile carriers said.

The country reached the milestone less than four months after the number of users passed 10 million in late March, highlighting a recent spike in smartphone adoption.
It took roughly 17 months to hit the 10 million mark.

, the smartphone caught on nationwide at a faster clip than in most other countries.
The data also showed that the market for the feature-packed, handheld computing devices is the fastest growing segment in the country's saturated wireless market, which is estimated at about 52 million users.

On the back of the robust demand, mobile operators are confident about meeting their smartphone subscriber targets by the end of the year.

SK Telecom aims to lure a total of 10 million smartphone users by December, while LG Uplus seeks to add another 0.9 million.
KT, the No. 2 mobile carrier and the dominant fixed-line operator, revised up its year-end target by 30% to 8.5 million.

In a  joint report from the Korea Communications Commission and the Korea Information Security Agency looks at why and how Koreans are using the new objects of their techie affections.

1.      Most Koreans (28.6 percent) use their smartphones for between one and two hours a day, with 24.8 percent using them for more than three hours daily. On average, Koreans use their smartphones for an impressive 1.9 hours per day. (The graphic above gives more details.)
2.      The most common uses  for their smartphones are (most popular first): as a diary, as an alarm, to get info/web-surfing, listening to music, for storing contact info, email, games, news, watching TV or movies, weather info, and traffic information.
3.      Korean smartphone users access the internet for an average of 58 minutes per day using their handsets.
4.      They have an average of 28 apps on their phone — though they only use nine or so, and…
5.      Fully 80 percent of them complain about after-sales service, with the most common gripes relating to shortcomings with repairs and the difficulty of exchanging handsets.