While those living in countries like the US are lucky that carriers offer heavily subsidized devices on contract, there are countries where subsidized devices aren’t available – possibly due to the type of market the carriers are operating in, or simply because it is illegal. Apparently the latter holds true in countries like South Korea to the point where the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has issued a warning to carriers (via Korea Times), telling them to avoid “excessive subsidies”. In a statement released by the KCC, “The KCC will start a thorough investigation of the carriers from Dec. 7 ? the date Apple’s latest iPhone comes onto the market ? as we believes chances are high that the carriers will offer illegal subsidies to attract more customers. That’s against the law…”
Apparently it is illegal to subsidize phones on a carrier level in an effort to steal customers from competing companies, and while the current price of a 16GB iPhone 5 is sitting at 814,000 Won, roughly $751 when converted, some carriers are promising customers the phone at almost half the price but require them to sign a commitment to their network. Word has it that pre-orders of the iPhone 5 should be hitting the 700,000 mark by the end of this week, and we expect those numbers to rise, especially if carriers ignore the warnings of the KCC.
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