Apple is in a bit of a precarious position right now. The company is struggling in China and playing catchup on AI. It also doesn’t help that the iPhone 16 is rumored to be a small upgrade over the iPhone 15. The company reportedly wants to play on the popularity of its smartphones in South Korea to challenge Samsung’s dominance in its home turf.

Apple’s phones are launched in waves in different countries around the world. South Korea is typically not included in the first batch of countries where a new iPhone is released. One of the reasons behind that is that electronic products that are released in Korea must be certified by the National Radio Research Agency and during this stage, the probability of a device’s specs getting leaked is high.

Since Apple is a secretive company, it doesn’t like to run the risk of product information getting leaked before launch. It might act more boldly this year.

Korea’s ETNews reports that for the first time since 2009, buyers in South Korea will be amongst the first to get their hands on the iPhone 16.

The information has been passed along by carriers in South Korea who refused to deny the rumor but won’t openly admit that South Korea is included in the markets where the iPhone 16 will be released first. 

The report also hints that the iPhone 16 will be released around early to mid-September. For reference, the iPhone 15 was released on October 13 in South Korea, weeks after sales began on September 22 in primary markets.

Apple is eager to increase market dominance and with reports saying that the young crowd in South Korea prefers iPhones over Galaxy smartphones, the strategy could help it win over those who might gravitate back to Samsung due to its focus on AI features. 

Anam Hamid is a computer scientist turned tech journalist who has a keen interest in the tech world, with a particular focus on smartphones and tablets. She has previously written for Android Headlines and has also been a ghostwriter for several tech and car publications. Anam is not a tech hoarder and believes in using her gadgets for as long as possible. She is concerned about smartphone addiction and its impact on future generations, but she also appreciates the convenience that phones have brought into our lives. Anam is excited about technological advancements like folding screens and under-display sensors, and she often wonders about the future of technology. She values the overall experience of a device more than its individual specs and admires companies that deliver durable, high-quality products. In her free time, Anam enjoys reading, scrolling through Reddit and Instagram, and occasionally refreshing her programming skills through tutorials.

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