The Smartphone Sensation
The Chosun Ilbo recently confirmed that 50 percent of all mobile subscribers in Korea are using smartphone.
Living here, I can also attest to how popular smartphones are here. All of my friends, without exception, currently use smartphones. Even my 56-year-old aunt, who doesn’t know how to turn on a computer, uses a smartphone (go figure).
As you can imagine, smartphones have made an enormous impact on life in Korea.
For example, I’m amazed at how easy personal banking has become. Before, I had to wait a few days for a money transfer to come through or physically go and visit a bank. The other day, my friend sent me money through his bank app at 5 p.m. The money was in my account by 5:04 p.m.
Photo credit: LiveRex
Beyond my personal experiences, there are many sectors where smartphones are making big changes. Education is one. At Handong Global University, for instance, students use their smartphones for activities throughout campus – from checking books out of the library to confirming class attendance.
Photo credit: KB Maeil
When talking about smartphones, you can’t leave out the apps – they’ve transformed many people’s daily lives. Mobile messaging apps like Kakao Talk revolutionized how people in Korea communicate and also has carriers on edge, as they lose revenue from text messages. Others like Naver Map help me people who lack a sense of direction get where they need to go.
We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if smartphone use in Korea skips over the line from 50 percent to the majority. Stay tuned!