Samsung has a very strong hold on the South Korean market. Together with LG it accounts for 80 percent of the country’s smartphone market. Naturally, Apple sees an opportunity here and we’ve previously seen the company improve its footing in a new market by rapidly expanding its retail presence. That’s what Apple did in China after all, it has opened 36 retail stores in mainland China and six in Hong Kong alone.
Apple heavily relies on its retail presence across the globe to call attention to its products so it certainly won’t be surprising to see the company employ the same strategy in South Korea. The company currently sells its products through third-party retailers in the country so it has little or no control over the retail experience, opening its own store will enable Apple to have complete control. However, it may take up to a year for Apple to open this store as the location has not been finalized. If Apple were to open its first retail store in South Korea right across from Samsung’s HQ it would send a not-so-subtle message that it means business and that it’s there to stay.