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Facts from 'Digital Korea'

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Tomi Ahonen's book "Digital Korea" discusses digital convergence in South Korea. Here are some excerpted statistics:


At Ubiquitous Cafe, just choose from the menu on a cell phone and a robot will take and deliver your order.

- 90% of South Koreans have broadband Internet access.

- 63% of South Koreans make payments using their cell phones.

- 43% of Korea's population maintain an online profile or blog site in Cyworld.

- Over 50% of South Koreans have migrated their cell-phone account to 3G.

- The most popular online game in Korea, Lineage, has 14 million users worldwide, twice as many as World of Warcraft.

- The second most desired car is not a Ferrari but a "Solid Pro," a virtual car from the online game Kart Rider.

- In South Korea, the average broadband connection is between 50 and 100 megabits a second (compared with the UK's average 4.6 megabits). South Korea is already rolling out pilot connections at 1,000 megabits a second.

- South Koreans pay for their broadband at the lowest rates in the world.

- In 2006, 57% of South Korea's music sales were digital compared to 10% in the U.S. (Source: IFPI January 2007)

Cell phones:

- South Korean youth replace cell phones every 11 months. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

- 99% of phones sold in South Korea in 2005 were camera phones. (SOURCE: MIC 2006)

- 40% of South Korean youth send SMS text messages in class. (SOURCE: Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion 2005)

- 37% of South Koreans download cell-phone games. (SOURCE: NIDA 2005)

15% of South Koreans play video games on their cell phones every day. (SOURCE: Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion 2005)

- Over 30% of South Korean students send 100 text messages a day. (SOURCE: Korea Times, February 9, 2006)

- 20% of South Korean cell-phone owners use Internet search on their cell phones. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

- 30% of South Koreans upload pictures from camera phones to social-networking sites. (SOURCE: Seoul Magazine, December 2005)

- 42% of South Korean cell-phone owners send picture messages. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

Portable TV:

- South Korea became the first country to launch digital TV (DMV--Digital Media Broadcasting) to cell phones on May 16, 2005.

- Average amount of daily consumption of DMB digital TV on cell phones in South Korea is 129 minutes per day. (SOURCE: MIC January 2007)

- 43% of South Koreans use cell-phone-based Internet. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

- 20% of South Korean DMB cell-phone owners watch digital TV in the car. (SOURCE: Irdeto January 2007)

Online shopping:

- 63% of South Korean cell-phone owners use mobile payment. (SOURCE: Business Week, March 2, 2006)

- 25% of all VISA cards in South Korea are provided via cell phone.

- 45% of South Koreans buy MP3 files to phones. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

Mobile music:

- 97% of South Koreans buy ring tones. (SOURCE: NIDA September 2005)

- 45% of all music sold in South Korea is sold to cell phones. (SOURCE: Telecoms Korea May 29, 2006)

- 26% of South Koreans listened to MP3 songs on their cell phones in 2005. (SOURCE: TNS November 2005)


- "Ringback tones" originated in South Korea.

- Apple's iPhone is not revolutionary in Korea. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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