This paper offers a critical review of government and corporate responses to the iPhone shock in Korea. The iPhone brings with it enormous challenges to the mobile service operators, handset manufacturers, software developers, policymakers, and general users. It may not be farfetched to argue that the future of mobile telecommunications in Korea depends on lessons learned from the iPhone shock and the actions taken in response. While numerous reports on the iPhone and the smartphone in general have been published by the government agencies, telecom firms and their research arms, and other economic institutions notably since 2008, they are more or less summary reports by nature and substance. What is conspicuously lacking in these reports is a critical self-examination of the existing mobile telecom ecosystem which has long been plagued by the corporate and regulatory rigidity. Unless this issue is properly addressed and resolved, the iPhone shock would end up being a storm in a teacup and the much talked about power shift in the telecom ecosystem resulting from it would lead to nothing more than a cosmetic change in Korea.
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