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S. Korea's smartphone market tipped to grow over 10 pct this year

It 13:50 January 14, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean smartphone market is projected to grow 11 percent this year from a year earlier, a report showed Thursday, on the back of increased sales of 5G handsets.

Smartphone shipments in South Korea are estimated to reach 19 million units this year, up from 17 million units a year ago, according to market researcher Counterpoint Research.

It predicted that expanded 5G smartphone models and the release of smartphones with new form factors, such as foldables and rollables, will push up handset sales here.

"The penetration rate of 5G smartphones will increase from 49 percent to 87 percent this year," Counterpoint Research said. "Local telecom operators' moves to introduce cheaper mobile service plans will also bring a positive impact."

By brand, Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest smartphone vendor, was forecast to dominate this year's market with a 65 percent share with its release of the Galaxy S21 series and new foldable smartphones.

Apple Inc. was projected to account for 22 percent of the market, up 1 percentage point from a year earlier, on the back of solid sales of its first 5G smartphone, iPhone 12, and other devices.

South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. was projected to rank third with a market share of 12 percent, down 1 percentage point from a year earlier.

This photo taken on Oct. 30, 2020, shows Apple Inc.'s iPhone 12 smartphones displayed at a store in Seoul. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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