South Korea now open to iPhone, Android

The iPhone seems set to make its debut in South Korea, following a change in rules requiring handsets sold in the country use a mobile standard called Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability (WIPI).

Developed in the country, WIPI support was required to be included in all handsets sold in South Korea. Apple’s iPhone 3G doesn’t support the standard, meaning the company was unable to introduce its device into the territory – until now…

The effect of this has been to create a unique local market for handsets, dominated by Samsung and LG Electronics.

Apple – and others – won’t be able to get involved in South Korea’s market for smartphones immediately, the Korea Communication Commission said inclusion of WIPI support won’t be required from April 1, 2009.

“The deregulation will help us to respond to the global technology trend and widen consumer choices,” the commission said, as reported by Reuters.

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