Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have hit Samsung where it hurts the most: its home turf in South Korea. The new iPhones are off to a strong start in South Korea, mirroring their success in other countries. South Korean telecom operators began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and it bigger sibling on Friday. According to The Wall Street Journal, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders have surpassed 100,000 units. Notably, Samsung received only about 30,000 pre-orders in the same time frame in South Korean last month.
Korean carrier gets 10,000 pre-orders in one minute
The three Korean carriers received “tens of thousands” pre-bookings in less than an hour. KT Corp. claimed to have received over 10,000 orders in just one minute. The carrier received 50,000 pre-orders in the first 30 minutes of the sale. LG Uplus Corp., which is carrying Apple devices for the first time, got 20,000 orders in 20 minutes. SK Telecom Co., the largest telecom operator in South Korea, didn’t specify the numbers. But it said that its first and second-batch of the pre-order quota have already been booked.
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The figures are likely to go even higher before deliveries begin on Friday, October 31. However, there is a difference. The 100,000 represents the combined sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. For a fair comparison with the Galaxy Note 4, you can split that figure in half. Apple’s new phone still outperforms its biggest rival.
iPhone 6 and 6 Plus erode Samsung’s biggest advantage
Anyway, it’s a big success for the Cupertino company. Apple has traditionally been a laggard in South Korea. According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung has 63% market share in its home country, much bigger than just 6% for Apple. But the U.S. tech giant has eroded Samsung’s biggest advantage by launching big screen phones, said IBK Securities analyst Lee Seung-woo.
Samsung reportedly sold only 4.5 million Galaxy Note 4 units in the first month of launch. That’s a far cry from the company’s expectations of 15 million units. In contrast, Apple received over 20 million pre-orders for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China alone in just three days.