Authorities have raided Apple’s offices in Seoul, South Korea, according to a report in the UK’s Metro.
Apple’s iPhone X goes on sale on Friday, November 24th and some are suggesting that the motives behind the raid may be less than legitimate.
As noted by Metro, the timing of the raid could be part of the government’s strong relationships with Korean companies – relationships that have been somewhat corrupt in the past.
Investigators visited Apple’s HQ earlier this week to ask questions about its business practices ahead of the launch of the smartphone tomorrow.
The raid is likely to raise questions about whether South Korean authorities are trying to hamper the success of the X, which has sold out across the world.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission has previously been accused of using its power to help local businesses when dealing with competition from outside forces, such as Apple, with the raid apparently part of an ongoing investigation into Apple’s contracts with cellular carriers in the country.
In 2015, the year when Apple grabbed a historic 33% share of the South Korean smartphone market, the FTC launched a task force dedicated to exploring whether foreign firms were hurting the domestic smartphone market.
While it may be a leap to come to the conclusion that the likes of LG and Samsung had anything to do with the raid, it equally would not completely surprise, either. Last December, South Korea’s then-president Park Geun-hye was impeached on charges of accepting bribes relating to Samsung with the company’s head Lee Jae-yong convicted on corruption charges this past August.
Last week when Apple opened pre-orders for iPhone X in South Korea, the handset reportedly was sold out within minutes of pre-orders going live.
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