SEOUL, Apr. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s telecom watchdog said Thursday it will provide consumers with a means to compare local prices of smartphones with those sold abroad on its website starting in May, apparently aimed at lowering prices here.
The move comes as local customers have been expressing criticism that smartphone makers tend to set relatively higher prices in South Korea compared with other countries.
Taking the complaints into consideration, the state-run Korea Communications Commission said it will conduct research on the prices of premium and other popular smartphones made by Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc. and LG Electronics Inc. that are released in most countries.
Handsets of smaller brands, such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Sony, which have a smaller presence in South Korea, will not be included in the data, the commission said.
The prices will be compared with some 10 countries, including the United States, Germany, Japan and France. The nations will be chosen among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The comparison will be posted monthly through the governmental portal.
“We are currently developing the related system for the price comparison of handsets, which will begin next month,” a commission official said.
The South Korean government has been taking steps to ease the burden of telecom costs on households. Industry watchers said the price comparison could lead companies to lower smartphone prices in the country.