Korea Technology Review2009. 7. 29. 14:22

“Korean IT sector has taken an evolutionary path to increasingly resemble Galapagos Islands.” 

An intriguing idea proposed by The Hankyoreh, a local daily in a feature article (published on July 27), is creating a stir within Korean technology circles.  


Why Galapagos? The islands are famous for their unique and colorful bio diversity but remain vulnerable to the infiltration of alien species since they took an entirely different evolutionary path for millennia, isolated from the rest of the world. Should any competing species equipped with evolutionary superiority advance to the islands before indigenous residents develop a sufficient defense mechanism, the fauna and flora of the entire island can easily be wiped out. 

Such is the present status of the Korean IT sector, The Hankyoreh observes. Once the envy of global IT industry, it is now considered a technological laggard to the astonishment of many in the know, especially in the area of mobile Internet. 

For starters, Korea is the only developed country in the world that has yet to see iPhones, the gold standard of modern smart phones. Local carriers, bent on protecting their walled garden are still hesitating to embrace the breakthrough phone from the Cupertino, California company, though KT will finally introduce the 'Jesus' phone to Korean Apple fans probably by this August after nearly two years of murmur, balk and backpedalling. 

No wonder the penetration of mobile data usage among Korean subscribers is barely 15.7 percent, about 10 percent lower than the worldwide average of 25.3 percent, according to a recent survey by Strategy Analytics. What's more, the average share of mobile data charge in the monthly bills of SK Telecom subscribers has actually shrunk by 20 percent this year as compared to years 2006 and 2007. 

Samsung and LG may be selling some of the most advanced touchscreen phones in the global market, but when those high-end phones are released for the local folks, they are sans Wi-Fi for fear of getting on the nerves of local carriers. DMB for mobile phones, the pet project of the Korean government, and other home grown innovations in the new media also remain confined to the domestic market and have yet to find followers outside of Korea. 

The freedom of speech in the Korean Cyberspace is rapidly deteriorating as well, amid a flurry of recent legislation that ranges from the real name log-on system that invited a sharp rebuke from YouTube Korea and the three-strike rule for  online copyright infringements. 

The government argues that those new rules will bring order to the wild wild web of Korea, but many bloggers and industry participants are increasingly suspicious that they are in fact designed to control the boisterous Korean online space highly critical of some controversial policies of the current government.

Indeed, "Minerva," the famous prophet of the doom in Korea that rose to a prominence last year by predicting the demise of Lehman Brothers, was arrested but shortly acquitted last April from a dubious charge that he discredited the government by spreading false information about its foreign currency policy.

The arrest of Minerva was such a shocking incident to many Koreans that thousands of alarmed netizens flocked to Google or YouTube, seeking an online asylum in foreign Internet services. When it was revealed in June that Daum,  the second largest portal in Korea had succumbed to the demand of the local attorney's office and handed over some private emails of producers and script writers who were accused of insulting the government officials, tens of thousands of people moved their email accounts to overseas service providers, notably Gmail. 

The recent developments in the Korean IT sector reminds many industry observers of the spectacular failure of another nation in Asia―Japan. 

Back in the late 1990's and well into the early 2000's, Japan was full of eye-popping handsets that were an envy of the global IT world and a torrent of sophisticated innovations was pouring out of the mobile Internet sector. But like Galapagos Islands, Japan took its own unique evolutionary path in the technology, cut off from the rest of the world. It is now a well-established fact that Japan had to hurry later to catch up with the Web, ironically because of its sophisticated -- but highly insular -- innovations in the homegrown mobile internet.

Many in the Korean IT business including the author are worried that they are looking at yet another incarnation of the Japan's spectacular failure in 1990's in their own home turf. Today, no Japanese company, with the exception of Sony-Ericsson, retains any meaningful presence in the global mobile handset market.    


The highly anticipated launch of iPhone in Korea this fall will be closely watched by many in and out of Korea, as a potential event that would signal a turning point in which Korea stopped its evolutionary path to become a technological Galapagos Island.

Posted by PSB

댓글을 달아 주세요

  1. 이전 댓글 더보기
  2. Cool site! Thanks for the information! I like this article.Your point is valueble for me. Thanks!

    2012.05.28 15:12 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  3. http://hervelegerdressale.net/

    2012.05.29 11:07 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  4. http://www.oakleyjawbonesunglasses.com

    2012.05.30 16:41 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  5. 하시기 바랍니다 많은 문제가 주어집니다 당신을 가져 주셔서 감사합니다 내가 원하는 건 전 에서 찾을 감사하겠습니다 .

    2012.05.31 16:19 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  6. Coach Outlet Store is in part simply a response to consumer demand. Consumers accept the notion of the desirability of select consumer product brands and designer labels. Yesterday, I saw an advertisement of lady's handbags on Coach Outlets Online. I was obsessed by the unique decorative pattern and special appearance of coach outlet store online.

    2012.06.07 14:16 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  7. How special kangaroo leather soccer cleats it is usually to enjoy more cheap soccer cleats for men traffic in your blog lacking taking one particular nickel. At this moment nike soccer cleats on sale its any certain issue that numerous online best adidas soccer cleats sites include article content that provides cheap puma soccer cleats recommendations and regulations found in find out mercurial vapor superfly iii fg how to yield guests using only no cost procedures. Since mercurial vapor viii fg it is possible, you actually dont will need to pay just one any amount of money,tiempo legend iv elite fg it might take hours, to say genuinely, Im not necessarily travelling to tiempo legend iv fg exhausted all around the plant on hand. You'll get more france euro 2012 jersey suitable possibility if you are paying for the advertisings,mizuno supersonic wave ii md however as a minimum you receive struggling chance powercat 1.10 fg which includes of no cost methods Im around to explain to you.Take advantage of puma v1.10 lightning sl on-line boards as well as on-line groupings. Once you discussion boards and on the internet neighborhoods quite simply are capable of aim for a specific group that nike ctr360 maestri ii elite fg red white black fits your foot the specific group that you are interested in nike mercurial glide iii fg.

    You could focus on herve leger outlet in terms of a lot of herve leger skirt things for the area of herve leger gold dress interest that you will symbolize or maybe produce.

    More information:



    2012.06.13 11:56 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  8. Cool site! Thanks for the information! I like this article.

    2012.06.23 08:39 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  9. A lot of thanks for all your valuable work on this article.

    2012.06.29 11:11 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  10. http://cleatsbag.com/

    2012.07.26 10:56 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  11. What's more coach outlet online sale, coach handbags try their best to meet users' needs coach factory outlet store so that they can capture the larger coach outlet sale handbag market.Coach handbags were originally coach wallets on sale designed with solid colored series. But until now, coach wallets outlet they come in a variety of types, colors and styles that you can choose discount coach wallets from. Meanwhile, coach handbags have enjoyed great popularity all over the world with coach aviator sunglasses their good materials and skillful workmanship. With the application of advanced technology in the coach shoes for men handbags market,have been worthy of great reputation and big honors with advanced polish, trendy pattern, fresh design, and colored series. In fact, discount coach shoes handbags are one of the most famous branded bags in America coach shoes outlet online history. Even though an American never has a coach handbag, he or she will pay much attention to it wholesale coach shoes.Coach handbags continue to make their legend. If you want a coach handbag, you can purchase it in a retail store or online. http://cheapcoachoutletonlines.com/.

    2012.09.07 10:14 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  12. jecklucka

    2012.10.12 17:53 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  13. If you are a great fan of NFL then you would love to purchase a NFL jersey to support your favorite team or you can also gift it to your loved ones. But there are a few points that you must remember before purchasing the right jersey of your favorite choice.

    2012.10.17 17:03 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  14. Christian Louboutin


    2012.10.18 15:22 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  15. Discount Jordans


    2012.10.18 15:25 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  16. Jimmy Choo Shoes Uk


    2012.10.18 15:26 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  17. http://www.goosefromcanada.com/womens-goose-montebello-parka-black-p-25.html

    2012.10.18 17:06 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  18. http://www.suparjordanshoes.com/new-air-jordan-12-retro-in-white-deep-blue-mens-shoes-p-275.html

    2012.10.18 17:09 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  19. downlink.December July spread only positions fee of 2 cents,compared with <a href="http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/">The North Face Store</a> last year China imported enthusiasm weakened,however,in the Monster Beats near <a href="http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/">The North Face Outlet</a> future,there should be a lot of cotton to find a place to stay.Only when <a href="http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/">The North Face Outlet Store</a> the Monster Beats new cotton decreased to control levels,the Monster Beats market began to jeckluckq

    2012.11.01 11:27 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  20. downlink.December July spread only positions fee of 2 cents,compared with [url=http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/]The North Face Store[/url] last year China imported enthusiasm weakened,however,in the Monster Beats near [url=http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/]The North Face Outlet[/url] future,there should be a lot of cotton to find a place to stay.Only when [url=http://www.thenorthfaceoutlet-store.net/]The North Face Outlet Store[/url] the Monster Beats new cotton decreased to control levels,the Monster Beats market began to jeckluckq

    2012.11.01 11:27 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]
  21. http://twitter.com/wholesale01com wholesale01
    http://www.shoplocket.com/products/cYJhy-nike-green-bay-packers-12-aaron-rodgers-jersey aaron rodgers jerse

    2012.11.13 16:05 [ ADDR : EDIT/ DEL : REPLY ]