By Kim Yoo-chul
KT, Apple’s Korean vendor, said Sunday that the iPad, Apple’s popular tablet PC, will go on sale on Nov. 30.
Samsung Electronics has been selling its 7-inch tablet PC, Galaxy Tab, through SK Telecom since Nov. 14.
KT will release all six models of Apple’s tablet PC. The carrier said that it has so far received some 60,000 pre-orders over the past week.
“With a two-year contract and 2GB monthly data pricing packages, consumers can buy the 9.7-inch tablet with 16-gigabyte storage and 3G connectivity at 390,000 won ($345).”
Those with pre-orders will receive the products from Nov. 30. KT is receiving pre-orders via its official on-line handset shopping mall, http://phonestore.co.kr, and its authorized “Qook & Show” outlets.
KT expects to sell 200,000 iPads this year.
Samsung expects the domestic sale of its Google-powered Galaxy Tab to exceed 150,000 by the end of November.
LG Electronics plans to unveil its tablet PC, which is slightly bigger than Samsung’s Galaxy, early next year.
SK Telecom is also talking with Apple to market iPads.
LG Uplus is set to sell the Tab in mid-December, a company spokesman said.
Korea has emerged as a “strategic market” for PC and handset majors to yield a visible profit in tablets, as the nation is one of the world’s most-wired and tech-savvy.
Apple created a major stir in January, when it first released its iPads.
Toward the end of the year, most PC makers, mobile phone manufacturers, monitor suppliers and even booksellers are racing to sell some versions of an easy-to-carry and smartphone-like compact PC.
Globally, a U.S.-based research firm Gartner predicts tablet sales will go up 54.8 million next year and 208 million in 2014, up from 19.5 million this year.
“We think tablets are expected to fill the void between smartphones and traditional laptops,” said a senior executive at Samsung Electronics, asking not to be identified.