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Koreans buy domestic phones, tablets abroad

Nov. 6, 2012 - 21:05 By Chung Joo-won
LG Nexus 4 smartphone
Samsung Nexus 10 tablet

An increasing number of Korean customers are ordering LG Nexus 4 smartphones and Samsung Nexus 10 tablets from the U.S., since they cost only about half of other up-to-date smartphones sold in Korea, according to news reports.

Korean customers are willing to buy the newest smartphone and tablet from overseas despite the possible difficulties in customer services, local reports said Monday.

With the increase in demand, many Koreans studying in the U.S. and Canada have posted offers online to reserve and purchase the product on Korean customers’ behalf and ship them. Many orders have been placed for the Nexus 4, which is scheduled to be launched on Nov. 13.

In the U.S. market, the price of the LG Nexus 4 starts at $299 for an 8 gigabyte device and $399 for 16 gigabytes. About $100 is added to the price to cover shipping and commission.

Although a direct price comparison is impossible since the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 are not on sale locally, critics claim that there is a huge price gap between Nexus 4 and Optimus G ― an LG Electronics smartphone model with similar capacity.

While the Nexus 4 is equipped with most of the functions that Optimus G has ― except the Long Term Evolution services ― Optimus G is sold at about 1 million won ($916), which is more than double the price of Nexus 4 sold in the U.S.

The home demand for Samsung Nexus 10 from overseas is high due to the low price as well. Nexus 10 is priced at about $100 lower than rival models with similar capacity.

The two tech companies are reportedly planning not to sell the Nexus smartphone and tablet at home in an apparent concern that they might have a negative effect on the sales of their latest flagship models.

By Chung Joo-won (