Apple announced it plans to open its first store in South Korea — an aggressive move, considering its main rival in the smartphone space, Samsung, is headquartered there. To that end, it’s hiring 15 staff members in the region and has stated publicly how excited it is by the prospect.
We know that the store is set to open up in the nation’s capital, Seoul, but Apple has yet to make it clear exactly where within the city. However, Reuters reports that South Korean media has commented that it should appear somewhere in the southern district and that work is expected to begin shortly, completing at some point before the end of November.
To make sure its new store is staffed properly, Apple’s new positions range from store leader to business manager. While the listings don’t specifically state that they will be working at the Seoul store, it seems like an awful coincidence if they aren’t set to work there.
The opening of a facility in South Korea is somewhat of a statement to Samsung also. With the big Android manufacturer taking a bit hit to its brand at the tail end of 2016 due to problems with its Galaxy Note 7 phone, it could be that Apple smelled blood in the water. However, it is also worth pointing out that it faces a lot of competition in Asian markets now from lower-end device manufacturers, many of them originating in China.
Apple could be looking to put a stamp on the region and maintain a foothold in what is quickly becoming one of the most hotly contested regions. Targeting South Korea is a smart move too, as it is geographically near to some of the biggest smartphone industry growth in the world but well within the borders of an economically prosperous country.