Huawei moves into South Korea

Huawei moves into South Korea

29 SEP 2014
Huawei

Huawei is reported to have made its debut in the South Korean device market, with its X3 available from this week.

The Asian market is something of a tough nut to crack, due to the presence of domestic rivals Samsung and LG Electronics.

But it has been suggested that with changing regulatory attitudes toward handset subsidies, the market may become more open to competition based on device price – although specifications will also remain important.

According to local reports, the device Huawei is offering (a Honor 6 variant) has a 5-inch screen and 13MP camera, includes LTE-A support and has an octacore processor, meaning it is far from an entry-level device.

However, Yonhap News said that Medialog, the MVNO that has an exclusive on the device, had said that initial sales would be “very limited”, perhaps indicating the launch is more of a toe in the water than a fully-fledged commitment to the South Korean market.

Pricing has also not been confirmed, due to the imminent implementation of a government bill concerning the sale of devices.

Other vendors including Sony, Acer and ASUS have recently increased their presence in South Korea. Korea Times noted that in the past, HTC, Motorola, ZTE and Nokia all pulled out at various times, unable to crack the dominance of the home players, with Apple standing out as something of a success.

Possibly coincidentally, Huawei was this week mooted as a potential buyer of Pantech, the ailing number three South Korean handset maker, as a way of boosting its presence in the competitive market.

While Pantech has struggled on its own, through a combination of tough competition from Samsung and LG Electronics and limited presence internationally, it remains a well established brand.

And although Huawei has been quiet in South Korea on the handset front, its network infrastructure business has been more active, for example setting up a mobile innovation lab with operator LG Uplus to work in areas such as 5G.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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