South Korea Stories April 27, 2016

Samsung Pay can now withdraw cash from ATMs in South Korea

At its developer conference in San Francisco today, Samsung reiterated that its mobile payment service for Galaxy devices will expand to several more countries by the end of the year. In South Korea, Samsung announced that Pay can now be used to withdraw cash from an ATM.

South Korea Stories April 16, 2016

LG G5 Unboxing First Thoughts

After making a huge splash at this year’s Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona, the LG G5 is now available for purchase. Thanks to the handset’s modular design, which nabbed it an award for 2016’s best innovation of MWC, it stands out from the rest of this year’s flagship releases. Is the modular design enough to make the LG G5 a better buy than competing 2016 flagship offerings? expand full story

South Korea Stories March 10, 2016

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt testifies before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing called "The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?" on Capitol Hill, September 21, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

Eric Schmidt is in South Korea this week to witness Google’s AlphaGo AI system completely destroy the world Go champion at his own game. Sedol lost the first game yesterday, saying then that he was “very surprised”. Today he lost again. “It was a clear loss on my part,” he said. He had predicted before the matchups began that he would win the five-game series 5-0 or 4-1 “at worst.”

But while the Alphabet Executive Chairman is in South Korea to witness the monumental battle, the Korean press (OSEN, in this case) is clearly focusing on something else. As you can see in the pictures below, Schmidt was caught at a press event this week taking pictures with an iPhone…

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South Korea Stories August 3, 2015

samsung_semiconductor_foundry_chip_production_1

Samsung says that it is setting aside 100B won ($85.8M) for compensation and prevention measures after some 200 of its employees contracted cancer through contact with dangerous substances. Samsung last year issued a “deep apology” for what was then believed to be 56 cases.

Reuters reports that illnesses such as lymphoma and leukemia resulted from prolonged exposure to either radiation or dangerous chemicals at Samsung’s chip and display factories …  expand full story

South Korea Stories May 26, 2015

Google’s Nexus Player is now available in South Korea (Update: Now $20 off, too)

Asus’ Nexus Player, the device Google launched last year to introduce the world to its new Android TV platform, is now available in South Korea via the online Google Store. Following the first availability of the Nexus Player in the UK in March, and 9 additional countries last month, the Mountain View company is now selling the device in the Korean market as well.

South Korea Stories May 22, 2015

Samsung teases Avengers-themed Galaxy S6 Edge launch, coming “next week”

Following rumors and then a confirmation of the device’s existence last week from Samsung’s @SamsungTMRW Twitter account (the tweet has since been pulled), a new Facebook photo posted by Samsung Mobile Korea all but confirms the impending launch of an Iron Man-themed Galaxy S6 Edge.

South Korea Stories January 20, 2015

Samsung considering stock split to spur investment in face of declining profits

The WSJ reports that Samsung is considering a stock split in an attempt to increase investment in its shares in the face of declining profits. It recently issued guidance suggesting that it was expecting a 37% year-on-year fall in its Q4 2014 profits.

The stock-split remark was made by a Samsung investor relations executive during an event in Seoul held by exchange operator Korea Exchange and was later confirmed by a company spokesman, who cautioned that no decision has been made.

Samsung stock currently trades at more than $1,200 for a single share, making it unattractive to small investors who may not want large sums tied up in a single stock and who would face high transaction costs for buying just a handful of shares.

Apple, which faced a similar issue, announced a 7-to-1 stock split last April, taking effect in June.

Photo credit: Reuters

South Korea Stories December 12, 2014

Google Play Newsstand comes to four new countries: Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Korea

Google Play Newsstand, which serves as the hub of all kinds of news and magazines for your Android device, is apparently coming to four new countries as of today. According to a post made by the Google Play team on Google+, those countries include Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Korea.

Prepare the comfy chair. Google Play Newsstand is now in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and South Korea.

This addition, while expanding Play offerings to these countries, leaves a lot to be desired. Many of Google’s other Play services, like Play Music and Play Movies & TV, are still missing in a few of these countries. You can get Google Play Newsstand on the Play Store for free.

Samsung introduces exclusive Christmas edition Galaxy Note 4 in velvet red

Samsung is getting into the holiday spirit with an exclusive new Christmas edition of the Galaxy Note 4 that ships in velvet red. The smartphone arrives just in time for the festive holiday season, although the one major caveat is that the device is launching in South Korea only.

South Korea Stories December 5, 2014

samsung

The downsizing expected at Samsung‘s mobile division has seemingly started at the top, with Re/code reporting that three senior execs are leaving the company. This follows the loss of five high-ranking execs earlier in the year.

Three deputies to the head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division are leaving, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, as the world’s largest smartphone maker faces a rapid decline in profit […]

The departures included global marketing chief D.J. Lee, the source said, confirming earlier media reports.

All three of those leaving are said to be direct reports to mobile head JK Shin, who survived the cull despite presiding over a 74% drop in profits in his division …  expand full story

South Korea Stories November 28, 2014

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Many Samsung employees are expected to lose their jobs in the next week or two as the company is set to announce its annual personnel changes early next month. The company recently reported a 74% drop in mobile profits and is planning to produce 30% fewer smartphone models next year in the face of increasing competition from Chinese brands Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei.

Dramatically slowing sales of its flagship handset led the company to shore up its share price with a $2B stock buyback …  expand full story

South Korea Stories October 23, 2014

LG+NUCLUN+02%5B20141024100232206%5D LG just dropped an TSMC-built octo-core NUCLUN bomb on us this evening. The smartphone and electronics manufacturer announced its own, long rumored ARM processor which will go into its phones later this year.

NUCLUN (pronounced NOO-klun) was designed using ARM big.LITTLE™ technology for efficient multi-tasking capabilities. The AP employs four 1.5GHz cores (ARM Cortex-A15) for high performance and four 1.2GHz cores (ARM Cortex-A7) for less intensive processing. The number of performing cores can be adjusted based on the requirements of the task for maximum processing power or maximum energy savings. NUCLUN is designed to support the next generation of 4G networks, LTE-A Cat.6, for maximum download speeds of up to 225Mbps while retaining backward compatibility with current LTE networks.

“NUCLUN opens up a new chapter in LG’s history of innovation in the mobile industry,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With this in-house solution, we will be able to achieve better vertical integration and further diversity our product strategy against stronger competition. NUCLUN will give us greater flexibility in our mobile strategy going forward.”

The processor will debut in a Korean model phone and along with its 8 cores will carry LTE cat 6 capabilities on die. The LG Liger which leaked today is also expected to have the NUCLUN processor, if indeed these aren’t actually the same phone.

Press release and more images follow: expand full story

South Korea Stories October 6, 2014

samsung-headquarters

Samsung on Monday night issued a statement warning that its third-quarter earnings would be considerably weaker than it initially expected. The South Korean company stated that it expects a third quarter operating profit of 4.1 trillion won, or $3.8 billion, and sales of 47 trillion won. Both of these numbers are below Reuters’ forecasts of 5.6 trillion won in operating profit and 50.9 trillion in sales (via CNBC).

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South Korea Stories July 18, 2014

Students walk out of a showroom at the headquarters of Samsung Electronics in Seoul

Reuters reports that almost 200 Samsung managers have “voluntarily” handed back a quarter of their first-half bonuses in anticipation of what is expected to be the company’s worst quarterly profit for two years.

The decision to return some of the bonus was partly a gesture to demonstrate that managers are taking responsibility for the earnings decline, and partly a way to show that management will work harder, the source told Reuters on Friday, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

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South Korea Stories July 7, 2014

Photo: ibtimes.com

Photo: ibtimes.com

After warning earlier this month that Q2 didn’t “look too good,” Samsung today released its earnings preview for the second quarter of 2014. The South Korean company reported an operating profit of $7.1 billion (7.2 trillion won), missing analyst estimates of $8 billion (8.1 trillion won). This comes out to a 24 percent drop year over year (via Bloomberg).

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South Korea Stories December 10, 2013

sam

Korean site ET News reports that Samsung has cut its smartphone sales target for 2014 from 360M handsets to 330M. The company’s original goal would have represented 25 percent year-on-year growth, now reduced to just 14 percent.

The company is blaming saturation at the top end of the market, with many existing owners of flagship handsets having reduced their upgrade cycle from annual to bi-annual.

Samsung as a whole isn’t hurting – it recently announced record revenues and profits – but the bulk of those earnings came from lower-end handsets and its chip manufacturing business. The ET News piece says that Samsung also plans to move into a whole bunch of new areas, including cloud computing and hi-tech materials …  expand full story

South Korea Stories October 17, 2013

Galaxy Round with curved display ‘just a prototype’, not likely to hit the USA

The Galaxy Round, which Samsung touted as the world’s first smartphone with a curved display, turns out to be just an extended production run of a prototype device – according to a source cited by SamMobile.

Samsung is looking to produce only limited quantities of the device, even in South Korea. It’s apparently a prototype device to test curved OLED displays, similar to devices like the SCH-W850 and the Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE (SHV-E120S), which were also produced in limited quantities in order to test AMOLED and HD AMOLED displays, respectively.

But while this particular device is unlikely to go on sale in the U.S., now that Samsung has proved the technology is practical, we can be fairly sure that company has other curved display phones and tablets in the pipeline. LG also appears to have a curved smartphone on the way, in the form of the G Flex.

South Korea Stories September 25, 2013

Samsung announces “Samsung Solution Exchange’, a mobile app store for businesses

Samsung announced today that it is launching the “Samsung Solution Exchange” to offer unique mobile solutions to business owners. The app marketplace of sorts will offer businesses an easy way to find productivity and business related apps from third-party developers that are specifically suited for Samsung devices:

The Samsung Solutions Exchange delivers a range of offerings from third party providers that increase productivity and ROI, including sales and management applications, mobile device management solutions, cloud services, collaboration tools and security solutions – all designed to make it easier for enterprises to succeed in the new era of mobile business with our robust suite of SAFE devices.

Samsung says it will work with third-party developers, MDM providers, and sales channels to “systematically identify unique customer requirements and rapidly deliver end-to-end solutions.” To do that it will be making its SDK available to those that are part of the new Samsung Solution Exchange and a web portal will make it possible for business to discover new mobile solutions.

You can learn more about the new program on Samsung’s business website here.

South Korea Stories July 3, 2013

Graphic: theverge.com

Graphic: theverge.com

Several Korean news sites are reporting that the Samsung S4 has now passed 20 million shipments. Samsung’s flagship handset, launched in April, hit 10m shipments by the end of May and it appears that the pace has scarcely slowed since – almost matching that of the iPhone 5.

As ever, we have to caution that Samsung cites shipments rather than sales, meaning that unsold handsets stored in warehouses get counted, but in general carriers and retailers don’t like to sit on large inventories, so sales shouldn’t lag shipments by too big a gap …  expand full story

South Korea Stories June 18, 2013

Samsung reportedly declines Zuckerberg’s request to work on the next Facebook phone

Following the failure of the HTC First, Facebook has reportedly moved on to its next smartphone idea (via the Korea Herald). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg supposedly flew to South Korea this weekend to meet with several Samsung executives about working on the next “Facebook-friendly” smartphone together. According to the report, however, Samsung shot down the idea. “Samsung doesn’t want to help nurture a second Google, which is now becoming a formidable rival for Samsung in the handset business,” the source said. The company also cited the recent HTC First failure as another reason to avoid the Facebook phone market.

South Korea Stories April 10, 2013

Samsung logo inside Time Warner City

According to a new report from Bloomberg, police in South Korea searched offices belonging to Samsung yesterday in a raid connected with an ongoing case related to whether or not Samsung was involved in the leaking of trade secrets. Police originally charged six employees from LG Display related to the theft of OLED technology from Samsung. Reports from last year claimed Samsung employees were fired in connection with leaking the technology, and today an LG spokesperson confirmed the latest investigation is related to its OLED TV panel technology:

“The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves,” Son Young Jun, a Seoul-based LG Display spokesman, said by phone today. LG said in July the information its employees were charged with leaking or stealing at the time was widely known in the industry and wasn’t considered to contain trade secrets.

Police in the South Korea wouldn’t comment on yesterday’s raid, but LG reportedly said “it didn’t report Samsung to police in connection with the current investigation.”  expand full story

South Korea Stories January 21, 2013

Samsung’s JK Shin confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note for MWC next month

Just after posting alleged specs for Samsung’s rumored 8-inch Galaxy Note, a report from Korean language inews24 (via Engadget) claimed today that company executive JK Shin has confirmed the device will make an appearance at Mobile World Congress next month.

Earlier today, we posted the full specs of the device courtesy of blog SamMobile. According to the leaked specs, the Galaxy Note 8.0 will include a 1,280-by-800 TFT LCD, a 1.6 quad-core processor, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2GB of RAM. We’ll keep you posted with the latest from MWC next month in Barcelona.

South Korea Stories November 26, 2012

Samsung announced today that it sold a total of 5 million Galaxy Note II units worldwide, following its announcement earlier this month that 3 million were sold. That means the South Korean-manufacturer moved 2 million 5.5-inch phablets in just under a month —surely thanks to its availability in the United States on AT&T. Sales aren’t as high as the Samsung Galaxy S III that competes side-by-side with Apple’s iPhone 5; however, it is interesting that a large chunk of customers want a larger handheld experience. Being available in various parts of Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa, the 5.5-inch device will likely have a strong holiday quarter adding to this month’s strong sales. [Samsung]

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South Korea Stories November 5, 2012

Samsung confirms 30M Galaxy S III sales in 5 months

There were hints a couple of days ago, but Samsung officially confirmed on its website this morning that it surpassed 30 million global sales of the Galaxy S III since it first launched five months ago in May. Samsung noted that’s 20 million more devices than the 10 million Galaxy S II units sold in its first 150 days. Samsung also announced last week that it sold 3 million units of its new Galaxy Note II in just 37 days of being on sale.

South Korea Stories November 2, 2012

Samsung’s Galaxy Note II hits 3M in sales since launch

Samsung announced today that it sold roughly 3 million Galaxy Note IIs since the phablet launched over a month ago.

The company specified to the Associates Press (via USA Today) that it took just 37 days to hit the sales figure:

The South Korean firm is pinning its hope on the Note II and the S III to maintain its market lead during the crucial fourth-quarter holiday season, when a number of new gadgets are vying for attention from consumers in the crowded market.

A new report by IDC gives support to Samsung’s unverified claims: the research firm revealed Samsung sat at No. 1 in terms of the global smartphone market for Q3 2012 with 56.3 million sales—doubling Apple’s 26.9 million in iPhone sales.

South Korea Stories October 24, 2012

LG reports ‘solid’ Q3 earnings with $138.57M in net profit

LG is out with its Q3 earnings today, and it is reporting what it called “solid third-quarter performance” thanks to strong handset sales. The company took in $138.57M in net profit for the quarter, while recording 19.42 million operating profit for its mobile business:

LG Mobile Communications Company improved significantly in the 2012 third quarter, recording operating profit of KRW 22 billion (USD 19.42 million) due in large part to healthy sales of LTE smartphones in Korea, Japan and the United States. In addition, Optimus L-Series continued to expand into 3G markets, contributing to the sales increase. Revenues increased by 5 percent quarter-to-quarter to KRW 2.45 trillion (USD 2.16 billion) as shipments exceeded 14 million units, an increase of 9 percent from the previous quarter. The company expects to further increase its shipments and revenue in the fourth quarter with the global launch of the Optimus G superphone and sales of Optimus Vu: 2 in Korea.

LG’s full press release below:

South Korea Stories July 30, 2012

Report: HTC shuts down South Korea office over sinking handset sales

Smartphone manufacturer HTC just announced that it closed its South Korea office due to low device sales in the country. The Taiwan-based company, which produces many Android handsets, suffered financial declines in recent quarters due to stiff competition in the market.

According to Korean news site Yonhap:

  • “Taiwanese handset maker HTC Corp. is set to pull out of South Korea following fruitless attempts to stay afloat in the local market dominated by the world’s top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co., market watchers said Monday.
  • On Friday, HTC officially announced its plan to close its Seoul office, a move that comes just a few months after its local unit head ended a brief six-month stint due largely to sluggish sales.”

TechWorld elaborated:

  • “HTC did not specifically mention layoffs, and said it was encouraging affected employees to apply for open positions within the company. ‘This is a hard decision that has direct impact on people who have contributed to the growth HTC has experienced the past several years,’ it said in a statement.”
  • South Korea has been a challenging market for foreign vendors including HTC to break into, said Nicole Peng, an analyst with research firm Canalys.
  • HTC had a 2 percent share of the smartphone market in the country for the year 2011, and a 1 percent share in this year’s first quarter, she said in an email. Korean vendors, including Samsung, LG and Pantech, dominate with about a 90 percent of the market.

Get the full report at TechWorld.

South Korea Stories July 5, 2012

Samsung estimates last quarter profit at a record $5.9B

Set to report earnings its Q2 earnings on July 27, Samsung in a typical fashion has released estimates for quarterly earnings. This quarter, the South Korean-based electronics company estimated a $5.9 billion operating profit, which is a record for the company. Samsung said strong sales of its Galaxy line are leading to so much profit. Samsung already said it expects to sell 10 million Galaxy S III units during the month of July—which is certainly impressive. We will have to wait until the end of the month for the full story. But, at any rate, Samsung does not look like it will lose its title as the technology company with the highest profit. (via Reuters)

South Korea Stories June 7, 2012

New Samsung CEO has strong relationship with Apple

Samsung officially appointed a new CEO today to replace Choi Gee-Sung, who will now take up a position as head of corporate strategy overseeing Samsung Group’s roughly 80 companies. Choi, who was CEO for over three decades, will be replaced by Kwon Oh-hyun, who Reuters explained is currently head of Samsung’s components business and has deep relationships with Apple. Samsung made a statement claiming there will be no major changes in the way the company operates, because Kwon will continue to run the components business that “became the sole supplier of the mobile processors” for iPhone and iPad under his leadership:

The South Korean group named Kwon Oh-hyun as its new CEO. Currently head of Samsung’s components business, which oversees chips and display, Kwon cemented Samsung’s position in memory chips, where it has almost 50 percent global market share, and expanded into non-memory, or logic chips, which now account for 40 percent of Samsung’s overall semiconductor revenue… Under Kwon, Samsung became the sole supplier of the mobile processors that power Apple’s iPhone and iPad – rival products to Samsung’s own Galaxy and Note. The 59-year-old former engineer, who studied electrical engineering at Seoul National University and Stanford, has also led a restructuring of Samsung’s LCD flat-screen business.

South Korea Stories April 10, 2012

Samsung’s Galaxy S III will feature a home button under the display.

South Korea newspaper Korean Digital Daily (translated) added to the rumor machine today with sources that claim the upcoming smartphone will sport Samsung’s accustomed home button, despite much speculation claiming otherwise.

The Galaxy S III will even boast a five-column icon layout showcased in the Samsung Galaxy Note. This would help the device standout from other Android handsets, and the iPhone, which has maintained a four-column icon layout since its initial 2007 launch.

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South Korea Stories April 4, 2012

Google just rolled out updates to a few of its Android apps, the biggest of which brings a ton of new features to “Gmail for Android” 3.2 (Honeycomb) users. Previously, only Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users had access to features like swiping between conversations, custom notifications for labels, and the ability to sync messages for the last 30 days. All of those features and the rest of the Ice Cream Sandwich Gmail experience are now being implemented for Honeycomb users. The updated app is available on Google Play now, and a full list of the features is below:

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The rumor mill is grinding away after a Samsung representative announced the Galaxy S III is now in the testing phase, while other reports indicate the device will sport a Galaxy Nexus-like screen without employing PenTile pixel layout.

AsiaE reported the device is undergoing tests in South Korea. The phase typically lasts two months, but the article suggested Samsung wants testing done sooner. Meanwhile, Korean website DDaily said the smartphone’s 4.65-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen will not employ the PenTile pixel layout.

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South Korea Stories January 19, 2012

One in 10 South Koreans now own a Galaxy S II smartphone made by Samsung as the company announced that sales of the handset in the 48 million-people country surpassed 5 million units, or more than 10 percent of the country’s population. It took Samsung nine months to hit the milestone since the phone’s release at the end of April 2011.

Strong domestic sales helped Samsung achieve a 53 percent market share for smartphones in South Korean throughout 2011. Japanese business daily The Nikkei said the Galaxy S II is the first handset to sell that many units in the country. In September of last year, Samsung sold 3.5 million Galaxy S II smartphones in South Korea. The 1.2GHz dual-core device comes with a 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1GB RAM, Android 2.3 and is upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich.

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South Korea Stories December 14, 2011

Hop on board an American Airlines flight this holiday season and your pilot will be wielding an iPad as a flight bag replacement but you – a first-class passenger –  will be treated with a Galaxy Tab 10.1 to keep you entertained. Keen on bringing balance back to the force, the airliner teamed up with South Korea-based Samsung to offer the Galaxy Tab 10.1 on their premium cabins onboard certain transcontinental flights. Here’s the sales line:

Sit back, relax, and let the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 take you to the movies or catch up on your favorite shows. The new device enables a unique viewing experience, featuring a bold and vibrant LCD, with brilliant colors and crisp definition.

Go past the fold for a list of flights serving some Galaxy Tab in-flight entertainment. expand full story

South Korea Stories November 8, 2011

After their $12 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility this summer, many critics began to think Google would favor Motorola over other Android vendors. Google has already assured us that they won’t, but today at a meeting with reporters in South Korea, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt said that Motorola Mobility will run separately from the rest of the company. Schmidt said:

“In general, with all of our partners, we told them that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android…we’re not going to change in any material way the way we operate.”

The comments of course are to assure other OEMs, like HTC and Samsung, that they won’t be left in the dark after the recent acquisition. Google so far seems to be holding up to their promise, seeing as the Galaxy Nexus is a Samsung device, but time will only tell. (via Reuters)

Eric Schmidt also made comment today that, “Android efforts started before the iPhone efforts.”

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South Korea Stories September 26, 2011

Bloomberg reports that Samsung is expecting to sell 5 times as many tablets as it did in 2010.

The company is on track to raise sales of tablet computers by more than five times this year from 2010 as it planned, J.K. Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile-phone division, said at a media briefing in Seoul today.

Samsung said it had sold 2 million Galaxy Tabs (plus a marginal number of Windows 7 Tablets?) as of January 2011.  It had given estimates as low as 1.5 million for the 4th quarter of 2010, the only quarter it sold tablets last year.

That means Samsung believes it can sell 7.5 million – 10 million tablets this year.  Is that good news? expand full story

South Korea Stories September 7, 2011

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You know that scene in GoodFellas where the FBI comes to search the house for the 15th time in as many weeks and Karen Hill explains how they are on a first name basis and she’s cordial and serves them coffee while they turn over her house?  That’s how Google’s South Korean office must feel.

Google’s Seoul office has been searched by the police at least twice since August last year amid investigations into whether the company illegally collected wireless Internet data and location information from Android smartphone users.

They got raided yet again by the South Korean government this week over whether the search giant was making it too difficult for local competitors NHN Corp. and Daum Communications Corp., who together control 90% of the Korean Search market, to get their search onto Android handsets.

The charge is that Google delays certification to handset makers who include other companies’ search products, Seongnam-based NHN said in April.  Google will probably say that it takes longer to certify third party software.

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South Korea Stories June 22, 2011

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Yonhap News is reporting that 10 million units of Android smartphones have been sold in South Korea. South Korea’s biggest carrier, SK Telecom Co, has a whopping 6.18 million Android subscribers under its belt. KT Corp. is following second with 2.06 million, and LG Uplus Corp hosts 1.86 million and is following with the third spot. The 10 million Android smartphones makes up for 70% of South Korea’s phone market according to the report. Apple’s iPhone, by comparison, has 2.5 million iPhones in the South Korea market on its dominant carrier.  Figures weren’t yet available for SK Telecom.

South Korea is of course the home turf of big Android makers Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech Co.

And you thought the US was high with 50%?

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South Korea Stories May 3, 2011

It didn’t take long for the iPhone location tracking issue to escalate and get blown out of proportion. The story spread like a wildfire as we learned that both Google and Apple were summoned for the May 10 Congressional hearing. That was just a warm up, though. Reuters reports that South Korea police is after the search giant, having raided their Seoul office on Tuesday.

The reason? AdMob, Google’s mobile advertising arm, was illegally collecting location data from Android users without their consent. That’s the official line the country’s authorities provided to Reuters.

The probe into suspected collection of data on where a user is located without consent highlights growing concerns about possible misuse of private information as the use of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets increases.

A South Korean police official told the news gathering organization:

We suspect AdMob collected personal location information without consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission.

A Google spokesperson confirmed the raid and said the company was co-operating with investigators. This latest development follows-up on the news that the governments of South Korea, France, Germany and Italy are considering probing Apple over the location data gathering fiasco.

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