iPhone 3G Korea Launch Delayed Due To Software Standard

The iPhone 3G launch in South Korea has hit an unexpected snag that may keep it from going on sale at it’s set date. Government officials are taking longer than expected to approve the device for sale in the country, resulting in a delay that could prevent it from going on sale in time for the holiday season.

The delay is primarily the result of the government-enforced “WIPI” or “Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability” standard that currently bars the iPhone from being sold there.

Of course, KTF is careful to deny any claims of a deal.

“For now, there is no agreement of any kind between KTF and Apple over the release of iPhones,” said a KTF official. “Even after a deal is inked, the network interoperability tests will take about two or three months and there is also the process of enabling KTF’s existing mobile-phone applications to work on iPhones. It would be virtually impossible to release the handsets earlier than early next year,” he said.

The government has already made some exceptions, stating that devices for business users are exempt from the requirement, a change that allowed the HTC “Touch Dual” handset to be sold there.

Unfortunately, it is suspected that they aren’t willing to make the same exception for the iPhone, and the decision to get rid of the standard isn’t to come up for discussion until next year.

[via Korea Times]

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