It’s story time, kiddies! Take a break from all those exciting tablet rumors and let’s go back to a kinder, gentler time when iPhone rumors were the belle of the ball. The Korea Times is reporting that KT, Apple’s exclusive carrier there, plans to offer an upgraded iPhone to its market come April. Apparently, Apple has chosen KT the opportunity to offer the new 4G iPhone to its bigger local corporate clients as a kind of “litmus test” months before it rolls out the new device to local distributors in June.
“We don't see any bigger hurdle to introduce 4G iPhones here, as legal issues were completely cleared. It’s possible to launch the devices within the first half,” a high-ranking KT executive told the publication, of course asking not to be identified.
“Still, there are some 3G iPhone stocks. But KT and Apple have reached a broad consensus to introduce the advanced models as early as possible,” according to the executive.
The new 4G iPhone is rumored to have an OLED (organic light emitting diode) screen, live chat functionality and a removable battery is “highly likely.” All of that as well as dual core processors and higher and more powerful graphics chips, too.
“With KT, we've been in talks with other telecom carriers to gauge the launching timing of 4G iPhones in South Korea. More tech-oriented features will be added to the models,” a representative of Apple’s South Korean office said.
Apple has traditionally released new iPhones in June, so a shift toward an April date in a country other than its home base in the U.S. is eyebrow-raising at the very least.
The logic behind the odd move, according to both analysts and KT officials, is to counter Google’s rush of Android-based smartphones which are starting to invade South Korea. But they also face stiff competition from both Samsung and LG, who are based in KT’s home turf.
“At a time when major handsets vendors such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are hiking the portion of contents-featured Google-powered phones, KT hopes to secure its bottom line by bringing upgraded iPhones,” said Kim Dong-june, an analyst at a local brokerage of Eugene Investment.