Apple said to be considering its first retail store in Seoul, right next to Samsung’s HQ
Apple is interested in opening its first retail store in South Korea, the home of rivals Samsung.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has made enquiries about expanding into the country, even citing sources who claim the iPhone maker has already looked at sites across the street from Samsung’s headquarters in the capital, Seoul.
This also happens to be the location of Samsung’s own flagship retail store, an impressive three-storey building in the city’s up-market Gangnam district.
Moving into South Korea would be a bold strategy as well as an aggressive one for Apple, as the country’s smartphone market is dominated by Samsung and fellow Korean electronics giant LG, who between them account for around 80% of the market.
The Asian market has become increasingly important to Apple in recent years, with the tech giant opening 36 stores in China at last count, as well as six in Hong Kong and seven in Japan.
Apple will also be looking to take advantage of Samsung’s recent battery issues that have blighted the launch of the Note 7, with many units worldwide forced to be recalled over risks of catching fire and exploding.
However, Samsung’s share of the global smartphone market continues to rise, moving up to just over 22% of the total market in the last quarter. Apple’s actually fell in the same period according to research firm Gartner – from 14.6% to 12.9%.
The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, launched earlier this month, will set about changing that.