The hot-selling Apple iPhone 4S, which was released in early October in the U.S. and a number of other markets, will go on sale here next month.
"Apple Korea applied on Tuesday for certification tests for product quality, frequency spectrum and the amount of electromagnetic waves generated," said an official at the Korea Communications Commission's Radio Research Agency.
"If the iPhone 4S meets local standards, it will be certified for sales. All imported mobile communications devices must undergo this certification process before being sold here and the process takes about a week. No iPhone has ever failed the agency's certification process," he added.
The iPhone 4s will be sold through mobile communication service providers SK Telecom and KT. The two companies are in talks with Apple Korea over when to begin sales and apparently plan to receive pre-orders starting on Monday, when the agency authorizes the sale.
KT was the first to begin selling the iPhone 4 in Korea in October of last year, while SK Telecom started taking orders five months later. The two service providers seem to have finished tests for the iPhone 4S and no glitches have been detected.
Apple said at a press event to unveil the iPhone 4S earlier this month that it would sell the smartphone in seven countries including Australia, Japan and the U.S. starting from Oct. 14, while sales were slated to begin in 22 countries including Mexico, Italy and Singapore at the end of October. The phone will be released in another 70 countries in December, Apple said, leading to expectations that the new model would hit Korean stores just before Christmas.
But the launch of the smartphone here has been pushed forward -- unless Samsung gets its way.
"We are considering filing a motion aimed at banning the iPhone 4S in Korea," said a Samsung Electronics executive earlier. The company, which is involved in numerous patent-infringement suits with its U.S. rival, has filed lawsuits seeking a ban on sales of the iPhone 4S in Australia, France, Italy and Japan.