Apple may challenge Samsung with first South Korean Apple Store

Apple is looking into opening its first official store in South Korea in an effort to compete directly with Samsung in the company’s home country. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Apple Store might even be located right across the street from Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul.

The Cupertino company has apparently been sending retail executives to South Korea in the past few months to look at potential locations. It’s also considering another site on popular shopping street Garosu-gil. However, it could be a year before the store is ready to open.

The Korean market is still dominated by local giants Samsung and LG, which make up about 80 percent of smartphone sales in the country. Apple managed to grab 25 percent of the market in 2014 when it launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. However, it’s since dropped to a 10 percent market share.

Apple currently has a rare opportunity to make inroads in Korea due to the Galaxy Note 7 recall. Samsung is still struggling to regain consumer confidence, giving its Cupertino rival a chance to win over new customers. Opening an Apple Store right in the heart of South Korea could send a strong signal that Apple is ready to fight Samsung on its home turf.

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