The number of Apple Inc.'s iPhone users has surpassed 2 million in South Korea in a little more than one year of its local debut, its distributor said Sunday.
Two million iPhones were activated in South Korea as of Jan. 20, including 1.03 million units of the iPhone 4, the latest version of the hot-selling device, and 977,000 units of the iPhone 3GS, KT Corp. said in a statement.
KT, South Korea's second-largest mobile carrier, introduced the iconic gadget that heralded a smartphone era in the country in November, 2009.
South Korea's smartphone market is estimated to have reached 6.1 million units in 2010 and is forecast to jump to 16.2 million this year, according to KT.
South Korea was one of the last major countries to get the iPhone, nearly three years after Apple introduced the advanced phone that surfs the Web, plays videos and music and downloads applications.
But its spread in South Korea, the world's most wired country, was about twice as faster than in other countries where the iPhone was launched earlier, KT said.
The iPhone 4 model was proven to be about twice as popular as the iPhone 3GS. About 8,000 iPhone 4 phones are being activated daily on the average or about 250,000 a month, according to the mobile operator.
A bulk of iPhone buyers in South Korea are men in their 20s or 30s, according to KT data. Sixty percent of the 2 million iPhone buyers are male, with 77 percent of them aged between 20 and 39. Most iPhone users are living in Seoul and its metropolitan area, with 31 percent of the buyers residing outside Seoul and Gyeonggi province.
South Korea's iPhone users gobble more wireless data and download more applications than other smartphone users. Wireless data traffic on the iPhone is about three times bigger than other smartphones while the number of applications downloaded on the iPhone is four times higher, Pyo Hyun-myung., president of KT's Mobile Business Group, said in a statement.
"The achievement is the result of the combination of the iPhone's outstanding product quality and KT's networks, subscription plans and services," Pyo said. (Yonhap)