Apple seems to be beating Samsung and LG on their home turf. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus went up for their first round of pre-orders in South Korea today in preparation for the launch on Friday, and were met by a riveting response, with units at all three of the country’s mobile carriers selling out within 30 minutes.

In a play to increase sales before Apple’s invasion of the South Korean market, both Samsung and LG recently reduced prices for their flagship smartphones, with the pricetag on the Galaxy S6 dropping  from 924,000 won (~$816) to 799,700 won (~$707) and the LG V10 available for 799,700 won (~$707) at launch – an unusually competitive starting price for a front-line smartphone. Samsung even unveiled a Pink Gold color option for its Galaxy Note 5 to rival Apple’s Rose Gold iPhone 6s and 6s Plus variants.

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Pre-orders for Apple’s latest iPhone duo were meant to start a week earlier. The delay, according to Yonhap News Agency, is speculated to be due to South Korean telecom authorities advising carriers to “avoid overheating the market.”

Korea Telecom reported a whopping 10,000 orders in the very first minute of the pre-order website going live. The carrier’s first 50,000-unit round of pre-orders came to a close after a mere 10 minutes, reporting “a huge demand for the Rose Gold.” KT returned for another pre-order bout later in the day, though the time it took for the second batch of units to run out is yet unknown.

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LG Uplus followed suit, running out of units five minutes into opening up of pre-orders. The third carrier, SK Telecom was the last to finish at 30 minutes. The company hasn’t revealed total number units in its first batch, but it is speculated to be somewhere around 50,000 units as well.

These are numbers from the first day of pre-orders, which is expected to be the busiest. This trend is unlikely to carry on through to Friday’s launch with the same gusto, though not entirely improbable. It’ll be interesting to see how the final score turns out in Apple’s battle against its biggest rival in the smartphone market on its home ground.

(Source: Yonhap)

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