Last Friday we posted a report titled "The 'Apple Crisis' is coming to Korea next Friday and the Korean Smartphone Industry Players are Freaking Out." While it looked like the fix was in to slow down iPhone pre-orders by the telecom authorities this past weekend, Korean Apple fans were not deterred. Apple's two new smartphones stirred a fresh craze among South Korean consumers on Monday as pre-orders sold out in the first few minutes of opening on the back of strong demand from Apple loyalists.
According to a new Korean report today, "South Korea's three mobile carriers -- SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Inc. -- received pre-orders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus earlier in the day ahead of the official launch in the domestic market on Friday.
Pre-ordering had been scheduled for this past weekend, but came belatedly amid speculation that telecom authorities had advised the mobile carriers to delay them to avoid overheating in the market.
KT said pre-orders surpassed 10,000 within the first one minute after it opened the online site, and it closed the applications less than 10 minutes later as the first 50,000 units set aside for pre-orders were all sold out.
KT began its second round of online purchase reservations from 10:30 a.m., the company said, adding that it's also selling them at offline stores. "We're getting an amazing response. We expected to take at least 30 minutes to sell the first 50,000. There was notably a huge demand for the rose gold," an official at KT said.
At the last minute, Samsung raced to have a rose gold version of the Note 5 ready prior to Apple's iPhone 6s version going on sale.
SK Telecom also ended its online pre-order applications after 30 minutes, it said, declining to give the exact figure of handsets sold early. Market watchers predict it to be around 50,000 units.
LG Uplus was no different from its two bigger rivals, with pre-orders ending in the first five minutes.
Ahead of the release, Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. both cut down the prices of their latest flagship smartphones, a move seen to keep their edge against the new iPhones."