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S. Korean regulator clears way for early iPad buyers

All Headlines 16:33 April 27, 2010

SEOUL, April 27 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean regulator said Tuesday it will exempt retail buyers of the iPad from obligatory state registration starting May, clearing the way for local technophiles who want to buy the latest tablet PC by Apple Inc. before its official launch in the country.

Inbound travelers who bring the iPad for personal use will no longer be required to acquire a government radio wave certificate -- an obligatory process for bringing personal computers into the country -- as it is virtually impossible to enforce the regulation, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said in an e-mailed statement.

The regulator said fast-paced changes in technology and the launch of new products that converge various technologies make it difficult to enforce the current regulations.

The iPad, one of the most anticipated products from Apple since the release of its iPhone three years ago, was made available only in the U.S. market in April. Apple has postponed its global release by one month to the end of May, citing its inability to meet surging demand, but South Korea was not listed as one of its global launching sites.

South Korean tech enthusiasts who have acquired the 9.7-inch tablet PC through the gray market or friends in the United States have faced a regulatory hurdle. Receiving a radio wave certificate is a one-month process that could cost up to 3 million Korean won (US$2,700).


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