SEOUL Dec 10 South Korea said on Wednesday it
would lift a rule that forces handsets sold domestically to use a
locally developed mobile device platform, opening the market to
more foreign cellphones.
South Korean regulators require all mobile phones sold in the
country to include Wireless Internet Platform for
Interoperability (WIPI), which has prevented many foreign makers,
including iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O), selling their products
to Korean carriers.
South Korea's mobile phone market is dominated by Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) and LG Electronics Inc
(066570.KS), which mostly offers high-priced models at home.
The Korea Communication Commission said in a statement that
adopting WIPI would no longer be mandatory from April 1, 2009.
With the smartphone market growing fast, makers increasingly
turn to popular mobile operating systems such as Google Inc's
(GOOG.O) Android and open-source Linux software.
"The deregulation will help us to respond to the global
technology trend and widen consumer choices," the commission
(Reporting by Rhee So-eui, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)