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iPad spanks Galaxy Tab in its own backyard

South Korean slab fondlers opt for Apple over homegrown Samsung

There was some welcome news for Apple in Asia this week after new figures revealed that the iPad is absolutely trouncing its rivals in the South Korean market, notably local hero Samsung and its Galaxy Tab device.

The Korea Herald reported that Apple had sold an estimated one million of its shiny tablets in the country since its debut in November 2010, with 700,000 sold last year driven by the launch of the iPad 2 in April.

The figures could be even higher given that many fanbois bought their iPads before the devices were officially on sale in the country, the report continued. Interestingly, around two-thirds of South Koreans favour the Wi-Fi only models, suggesting they would rather not get sucked into long-term carrier contracts when purchasing the devices.

Frost & Sullivan’s Asia Pacific vice-president Jayesh Easwaramony told The Reg that Apple has around a 70 per cent market share in the country by virtue of having “the best price to experience ratio from a user perspective”.

“Apart from that the positive word of mouth and the appeal as a must-have product for its target segment is greater than the rest,” he added. “Consequently more apps that optimise the screen have further enhanced the value of the product.”

The news will be a blow to South Korean giant Samsung, which is having a hard time of it in the courts at the moment against arch foe Apple. The fruity tech titan upped the ante at the end of last week with yet another preliminary injunction request against a Samsung product, this time the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Galaxy Nexus.

The two are locked in copyright infringement legal battles across the globe over a range of devices including the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which Samsung was forced to modify after a sales ban in Germany.

Samsung will be hoping its Android 4.0-powered Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), unveiled on Monday, will help it claw some market share back from Apple in the tablet space.

It doesn’t have such a problem in the smartphone market, of course, having toppled Cupertino late last year as the world’s number one.

For Apple, things have got off to a bad start in the region this week, after reports circulated on Monday that its iPads are being withdrawn from Chinese stores as a result of the firm losing a trademark infringement battle with Chinese monitor firm Proview. ®

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