Apple Korea is going head on to Samsung on its home turf, on target to sell 2.9 million iPhones in South Korea this year, giving it a market share of about 15 per cent.
At the end of last month it had sold 2.6 million iPhones, and is forecasting improved results for the year. Its operating profit has reached more than KRW800 billion (US$684 million) on revenue of KRW3 trillion, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Sales of iPhones account for more than 75 per cent of Apple’s revenue in Korea, sources say. It launched the iPhone 7 in October with the opportunity to take share from market leader Samsung after its Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
On top of that, the Cupertino-based tech company is building its first flagship retail store in Seoul, expected to be completed next November, right across the street from Samsung’s headquarters.
Apple’s market share in Korea peaked at 33 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 following the launch of the iPhone 6, according to Counterpoint. Samsung and LG now have a combined market share of more than 80 per cent. LG had a 19 per cent market share in the second quarter of this year.
South Korea and Japan, where the iPhone had more than a 50 per share for the three-month period ending October 30, are rare growth markets in Asia for Apple. Its iPhone shipments in China plunged 31 per cent to 7.5 million units in the third quarter, with market share falling to 6.2 from 10.3 per cent, according to Strategy Analytics.
Apple reportedly reduced orders from component suppliers for its iPhone 7 models early this month because of demand being weaker than expected in many markets, including China.