After Apple lost Qualcomm, it was sued by the Korean anti-monopoly department or faced a huge fine.


After Apple lost Qualcomm, it was sued by the Korean anti-monopoly department or faced a huge fine.

South Korea’s antitrust authorities have recently filed another lawsuit against Apple because three Korean telecom operators have accused Apple of using unequal power to pass marketing costs on to operators. This review has actually gone to the second round of litigation. Although the Apple side said that the two parties are fair and voluntary in the negotiation process with the operators, the Korean anti-monopoly department has always advocated that Apple’s approach to operators is a Unfair behavior. So if Apple loses, it may face penalties of billions of won.

The Korean mobile phone market has always been firmly controlled by local mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung and LG. Imported brands have never exceeded 20% in the Korean mobile phone market. However, since the iPhone was listed in South Korea, it has captured a large part of the market. In 2015, once it reached 33% market share, it has already pose a great threat to Korean mobile phone manufacturers.

So in 2015, the Korea Trade Commission formed an investigation department to study whether Apple“s mobile phones have threatened the interests of local brands. He has repeatedly investigated Apple and even conducted a temporary search on Apple on the eve of the iPhone X. According to market research, most young people in South Korea prefer to choose an iPhone in recent years. Compared with the stable business design style of Samsung mobile phones, young people generally think that the iPhone is more fashionable and cool. So even though the iPhone XS is listed at a high price in South Korea, it is still being snapped up by young people. The iPhone is currently ranked second in Korea with a market share of 28%.

In fact, the Korean mobile phone market is similar to the Japanese mobile phone market in the early years. The local mobile phone brand is very strong, and foreign brands simply cannot survive. But as the iPhone entered the Japanese market, it quickly broke the pattern. The iPhone is mostly sold in the form of a contract machine in the Japanese market, and its price is low and the performance is strong, so it quickly occupied the Japanese market. The iPhone now accounts for more than 50% of the market in Japan, while the traditional Japanese brand Sony has lost less than 17%.

Obviously the South Korean government does not want to be the second Japan. Therefore, in the face of the actions of the Korean anti-monopoly department, the media have doubts that the Korean government is protecting the interests of local businesses. It is important to know that companies such as Samsung and LG have a pivotal position in the Korean economy. Samsung’s revenue alone accounts for 13% of South Korea’s GDP. In fact, the Korean government has been vigorously supporting state-owned brands. Koreans are also fully supportive of their products, such as automobiles and electronic products, which have an absolute market position. So now that the iPhone is facing strong competition, the South Korean government will not be surprised by this move.