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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Apple Falls Far Behind S. Korean MP3 Player Makers

SEOUL, Aug 10 Asia Pulse

Apple, the manufacturer of the popular MP3 player iPod brand, is lagging far behind South Korean rivals in the local digital music player market, a survey showed Wednesday.

Apple accounted for 1.8 per cent of the South Korean MP3 player market in terms of revenue in the first half of this year, compared with ReignCom Ltd.'s 35 per cent and Samsung Electronics Co.'s 14 per cent, according to the survey by GfK Marketing Services Korea, a marketing consulting firm.

Another South Korean manufacturer, Cowon, is closely challenging Samsung with a market share of 13 per cent, the survey found.

When it comes to unit sales, Apple came in 13th place with a market share of less than 2 per cent, compared with ReignCom with 31 per cent and Samsung with 14 per cent, the survey showed.

The survey found Apple, the world's biggest MP3 player maker, didn't win much attention from South Korean consumers.

Apple's Korean unit officials were not immediately available for comment.

Aside from the top three manufacturers, the nation's MP3 player market is fragmented by smaller Korean makers and Japanese companies such as Sony Corp., the consulting company said.

The value of the MP3 player market in South Korea fell slightly to 174.5 billion won (US$172.2 million) during the first half, compared to 210 billion won a year ago, according to the consulting company.


  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger ronkh said…

    This is not reality.....

    In South Korea, a worker will be fired for smoking an American cigarette....

    We save their butts, (literally)...
    buy their merchandise and they treat American products as Taboo.

    Go ahead and delete this since it doesnt bode well for your beloved Samsung

  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger Tuolumne said…

    Ronkh, you clearly missed the entire point of the article, which is that the Korean people do not like to purchase merchandise that is created outside of their country.

  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger ConceptVBS said…

    I think people are misinterpreting this.

    Apple Korea isnt as big as Apple America in South Korea. The big three over there got on the MP3 bandwagon long before Apple came into South Korea with the iPods. They already had a considerable market share before iPod started selling.

    Also, Apple Korea doesnt have a good network of after service shops scattered across the country. Therefore warranty issues cant be dealt within in a timely manner. It takes considerable time and effort to be parts replaced or exchanged.

    Apple iPods are, lets face it, pretty expensive. Not until the Apple Shuffle came out onto the market, the rest of the hard drive basd iPods were in the $3-400 dollar range.

    Although it might be surprising, Apple's marketing isnt as strong over in Korea as it is here in the States. The iPod has, in essence, become a cultural icon of hip, energetic and free lifestyle in the US. The hype is definitely here. You generally see more billboards toating the iRiver, Samsung and others all across Seoul more so than Apple.

    Also, most people in Korea dont like lugging heavy things around where ever they go. Since the country is so small, they dont need to carry around an entertainment system that can keep them accompanied for hours on end. A short subway hope is all that separates from their home to their work place. Therefore, a small, light feature rich Flash based MP3 players is more of an attractive deal than the hard drive based iPods or any other hard drive based MP3 players for that matter.

    I hope these points give people some clue as to why iPods arent doing so well as they think.

  • At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tuolumne, YOU clearly missed the point of what Ronkh said. He's saying that Koreans buy Korean products because they're, in a way, forced to do so. It's not that they don't like foreign products, it's that, maybe some, have no other choice.


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