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SK Telecom bringing BlackBerrys to South Korea

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BlackBerry Bold

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about South Korea on BlackBerry Cool, and for good reason, as RIM had been facing resistance in South Korea due to public perception and issues with software standards. Today we have some great news for our South Korean brethren: SK Telecom and RIM have jointly announced that the BlackBerry Bold 9000 will launch on December 29th for corporate customers (no plans have yet been finalized for consumers).

New members of the BlackBerry Nation can read our exhaustive BlackBerry Bold review below, or find more information on what was preventing BlackBerrys from coming to South Korea after the jump.

The Ultimate BlackBerry Bold Review (with full device Specs)

Why no BlackBerrys in South Korea?

BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 12

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BBCoolThis week we check out RIM’s third quarter results, BlackBerry 8120 coming to Suncom, penetrating the South Korean market, a bit of recent legal troubles, and more of the week’s assorted news. Take a listen here. (14 minutes)

RIM encountering resistance in Korea

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South KoreaCanadian govnerment and RIM are trying to work their way into Korea, but it’s turning out to be tricky. South Korea’s hasn’t been too warm to the idea of BlackBerrys, mainly due to the device’s inability to meet software standards for mobile devices, but also because of a lackluster public reception. All internet-capabable phones in South Korea need to include middleware called Wireless Internet Platform for Interoperability (WIPI), but is often overlooked if there’s enough demand for the device. Sadly, BlackBerry hasn’t quite struck that chord with Koreans, and due to some fundamental differences, BlackBerry can’t support WIPI. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has been throwing their weight around to get the requirement overturned so BlackBerrys can get in.

“I want to ask you how Korean politicians will act if Canada does not allow Samsung or Hyundai to sell their products,” [Terry Tuharsky, the chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea] said, adding that “the storm is brewing” in Canada already.

Heh, something tells me Canada will miss Toyotas a bit more than Korea will miss the BlackBerrys they never had in the first place anyway. Still, China’s on board, so the rest of the area might become a little more prone to adoption.