[Weekly News] What’s Up In Korea? (23. Jan)
2013년 01월 23일

Korea to be the first country in the world to incorporate new transportation system

From May, Korea will under go an 'experimental period' - the government is introducing a new system where it will be possible to 'tag on and off' (pay transportation costs) using your mobile phone.

Except this time, you won't have to go through the (tedious and bothersome) pre-pay system.

If the feedback turns out positive, everyone in Korea will be able to use this system from August.

Fall in KRW currency to expected to hit the IT industry hard - what about Samsung and LG?

There is a fall in the KRW currency - at the moment the KRW stands at KRW1060 per US Dollar, and KRW1180 for the Japanese Yen.

The fall in currency is not always or necessarily a bad thing; however, this is expected to hit the IT industry hard, especially for IT/household appliances industry in Korea.

Fortunately, it is note expected that this fall will actually affect Samsung and LG significantly due to the size and wealth of the two South Korean IT giants.

An insider from Samsung said "due to our global marketing, the usage of phones led to many diversities - we will be aiming to bulk up so that we will not be affected by petty currency drops. We will do this by developing core values and basic strengths within the company, rather than to come up with policies that will prevent us from being affected by petty currency drops."

As for LG, they will be focusing on the logistics. Imports and marketing, namely. An insider from the company said that they will be taking into consideration the holistic direction of the Korean Won rather than to focus on the rise and fall during the first few months. They said that they will be keeping a close eye on the KRW and will be preparing for the "worst case scenario", which means they will be considering the situation where the KRW will drop to KRW 900 per US Dollar.

Qualcomm invests $23 million in Pantech

As for mobile phones and applications, Korea has emerged as a global leader in the world.

We often talk about LG and Samsung Electronics - we recently talked of the 'rankings war' between the two in our previous articles. You can read Nathan's article on the competition between Samsung and LG in the USA here (Apple came 3rd place).

In Korea, Pantech has come third place in the domestic industry behind Samsung and LG.

It was announced yesterday that Qualcomm (a US based mobile tech giant), invested $23 million in Pantech so as to raise the stakes in the company from 11.47% to 13.49%.

We will be writing a detailed story on how this will change the Korean mobile industry in relation to Samsung, LG and Apple - you can read the story here.


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