iPhone 4 Antenna Fiasco Could Hurt Apple's Big Deal In Korea

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Photo: Associated Press

SK Telecom, the big Korean mobile giant, wants to sell Apple’s iPad and iPhone after seeing the success that its rival KT has had with the iPhone, the WSJ reports.But there’s a catch: The WSJ says the antenna/signal trouble Apple has experienced with the new iPhone 4 could limit SK Telecom’s interest in selling that device, as the carrier might not want to risk selling unreliable gear to its customers.

WSJ’s Jung-Ah Lee:

“SK Telecom Chief Executive Jung Man-won said recently the company is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone and the iPad in South Korea. In a cautious note however, the executive said that “some noises about problems with the latest iPhone” is worrisome, referring to recent user dissatisfaction with iPhone reception in the U.S.  The comments suggest the company may be mainly interested in bringing the iPad, something its rival KT hasn’t managed to offer just yet.”

“We’ve built a solid reputation for offering good after-service for handsets, and we can’t take any risks,” Mr. Jung said.

So, is the antenna problem actually going to cost Apple this deal?

It seems nothing has been decided, and this could just be a negotiating tactic for SK Telecom — trying to get some leverage over Apple. (The WSJ notes that KT still plans to sell the iPhone 4 in July.)

Longer term, if Apple can get whatever issues it has fixed, it doesn’t seem SK Telecom would actually turn down this deal, which would be big for both companies.

Don’t miss: 10 Things We Love And Hate About The iPhone 4

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