Despite record sales elsewhere, iPhone 4S sales in South Korea have been surprisingly slow reports The Korean Times on Wednesday.
Customers of one of the world’s most tech savvy country cite the phone’s poor battery performance and lack of support for 4G LTE as the main reasons why they’ve decided to forgo Apple’s latest smartphone. The paper reports that pre-sales of the iPhone 4S have totaled between 150,000 and 300,000 units combined at SK Telecom and Korea Telecom, citing unnamed carrier officials in stating that a number of customers who have made pre-orders have recently cancelled.
“I dropped my plan to buy the iPhone 4S. It’s not wholly-new and also there are big problems relating to hardware-related issues,” one iPhone 4 owner told The Korea Times. “I am a big Apple fan. But I’m very disappointed by the uncompetitive iPhone 4S.” Local press and customers in the region have been vocal in complaining that the new iPhone failed to meet their high expectations.
The report also cites the iPhone 4S’ lack of 4G LTE compatibility as a barrier to the handset’s success. Many South Korean cell phone users seemingly have a need for speed that outweighs any desire they might have for the Apple handset. “The key point is how Korean carriers effectively manage LTE networks to attract more clients,” a mobile phone shop owner said. “Since LTE is new, there are also complaints about its quality. If LTE services do well, then more people will switch as carriers give more subsidies to customers who buy LTE smartphones.”
“Except for the ‘Siri’ function, I didn’t find any wow factors about the iPhone 4S and that’s why I decided to buy Samsung’s LTE smartphone,” one man complained. “Also Siri doesn’t support Korean language and that means the iPhone 4S is technically the same as the iPhone 4. Why should I pay more to buy the same thing? It’s nonsense to purchase the 4S just to show my personal tribute to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs”
Internationally, Apple’s latest iPhone has seen record sales following its launch. Apple announced that it sold more than 4 million iPhone 4S handsets during the device’s debut weekend, making it the fastest-selling smartphone in history despite launching in just seven markets.
Is this a reflection on how the Malaysian market will react to the iPhone 4S when it is launched here? What do you think?