iPod Not As Big a Hit in Competitive South Korean Marketplace

A comprehensive article in The Korea Times takes a look at how Appleis iPod models are fairing against the competition in South Korea, where locally made flash-based players control the biggest share of the market.

In South Korea, ReignComis iRiver is the number one seller of music players, while Samsungis Yepp and Cowon Systemis iAudio round out the top three. The preference for flash-based players kept Apple in the background until recently, when it launched the iPod shuffle at highly competitive prices. In response, however, competitors lowered their prices, dampening the iPod shuffleis reception in South Korea.

Also affecting the iPod shuffleis success is its minimalist feature set. South Koreans like their music players to have extra features, such as a display and FM tuner, options that are lacking on the shuffle. As a result, an Apple representative said the company has seen more demand for the 4GB iPod mini, which recently received a price cut, than there has been for the slightly less expensive 1GB iPod shuffle.

For their parts, none of the current leaders in the South Korean marketplace are worried about Apple or other competitors. All the companies told The Korea Times that they are sticking to their guns, maintaing current forecasts, and looking forward to healthy competition.