iPhone 7 Hits South Korean Stores in Samsung Galaxy Note 7's Absence

iPhone 7 Hits South Korean Stores in Samsung Galaxy Note 7's Absence

The Apple iPhone 7 went on sale in South Korea on Friday, seeking to fill a void left by arch-rival Samsung on its home turf following a damaging recall fiasco over the Note 7 smartphone.

The South Korean electronics giant discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 - one of its key iPhone challengers - on October 11 following reports that replacements for combustible models were also catching fire.

The decision is set to cost Samsung billions in lost profits, and there are already signs that Apple is reaping some of the benefits.

An official at mobile carrier Korea Telecom (KT) said the first batch of 50,000 iPhone 7s they put up for pre-order a week ago sold out in 15 minutes.

(Also see:  Galaxy Note 7 Fiasco Could Increase iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Sales by 7 Million: Analyst)

"I would attribute part of that to the Galaxy Note 7 effect," said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

Customer defection is one of Samsung's biggest concerns, especially as the Galaxy Note 7 was specifically aimed at taking on the iPhone in the premium handset market.

In the hope of retaining customer loyalty, Samsung had offered Galaxy Note 7 users a KRW 70,000 ($60) phone bill credit if they swapped their faulty phones with another Samsung handset.

The half-dozen customers buying the new iPhone at a KT store in central Seoul on Friday were all long-time Apple users who had pre-ordered their handsets.

Office worker Lee Kyung-Hee, 34, said she had moved fast when the pre-order service opened, fearing a surge of interest from unhappy Galaxy Note 7 owners.

"I set an alarm and was very quick," Lee said.

In South Korea, retail prices for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus start from KRW 869,000 and KRW 1.02 million respectively, for their basic 32GB models.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Best-in-class performance
  • Good battery life
  • Improved cameras
  • iOS 10, timely updates
  • Bad
  • Low light camera performance not best in class
Display 4.70-inch
Processor Apple A10 Fusion
Front Camera 7-megapixel
Rear Camera 12-megapixel
RAM 2GB
Storage 32GB
Battery Capacity 1960mAh
OS iOS 10
Resolution 750x1334 pixels
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Great performance
  • Dual camera
  • Excellent battery life
  • Improved cameras
  • iOS 10, timely updates
  • Bad
  • Low light camera performance not best in class
  • Expensive
  • Ungainly
Display 5.50-inch
Processor Apple A10 Fusion
Front Camera 7-megapixel
Rear Camera 12-megapixel
RAM 3GB
Storage 32GB
Battery Capacity 2900mAh
OS iOS 10
Resolution 1080x1920 pixels
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