Koreans not impressed by Apple's iPod, report says

Apple has a 1.6 percent share of the South Korean digital music player market, according to a GfK report.

It may be the hottest, most sought-after digital music player in other parts of the world, but in South Korea Apple Computer's iPod registers as barely a blip in the sales charts, according to a recent report by market analysts GfK AG.

With iPods accounting for just 1.6 percent of units sold in South Korea, Apple ranked as the number 13 digital music player manufacturer in the country, according to the figures, which count only devices sold in stores.

GfK's findings were obtained by IDG News Service from an industry source. GfK, in Nurenberg, Germany, doesn't release such figures publically and would not confirm the figures, which were also reported by local newspapers.

Apple's poor showing in the country may not be surprising, considering that South Korean companies were among the first in the world to popularise digital music players. Companies like Reigncom, Digitalway and Cowon Systems were early leaders in the technology and are still strong today, especially in their home market.

Reigncom, which is better known by its iRiver brand name, was ranked number 1 in South Korea with 30.8 percent of the market, followed by Samsung Electronics with 14.4 percent and Cowon, which makes the iAudio brand, with 11.8 percent, according to the data.

Behind the leaders and ahead of Apple were several companies, mostly local, with single-digit market shares. Among them, ranked at number 5, was Sony with 4.1 percent of units sold. But while Sony currently has more than twice the market share of Apple, its share of the market slipped over the first six months of the year, while Apple's has been slowing expanding.

Ranked in terms of revenue the results are largely the same. Apple comes twelfth with 1.8 percent of the market.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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