Is iPhone Cheaper In South Korea In 2023 | What’s The Truth About Apple In Korea

by supereditor

Get answers to ‘Is iPhone Cheaper in South Korea’ to make informed choices on your tech purchases.” Contemplating the cost of an iPhone? Find out if iPhones are more affordable in South Korea. Discover insights into iPhone pricing, potential savings, and where to find the best deals.

When it comes to buying the latest iPhone, many factors come into play, and one of the most significant considerations is the cost. 

Whether you’re an Apple enthusiast or simply in the market for a new smartphone, you might be wondering if iPhones are cheaper in South Korea compared to other countries, particularly the United States. 

In this article, I’ll delve into the factors that influence iPhone prices in South Korea, discuss whether it’s more cost-effective to purchase an iPhone in Korea or the USA, explore duty-free options, and touch upon popular iPhone models in Korea, as well as the cheapest phones available in this tech-savvy nation.

Is iPhone Cheaper in South Korea?

The answer to whether iPhones are cheaper in South Korea is a bit complex. While South Korea is the home turf for tech giants like Samsung and LG, Apple products, including iPhones, have a significant presence in the country. However, whether you’ll find iPhones cheaper in South Korea largely depends on various factors, including the specific iPhone model, currency exchange rates, import taxes, and local market conditions.

What Influences the Cost of iPhones in South Korea?

Several key factors influence the cost of iPhones in South Korea:

1. Currency Exchange Rates:Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can impact the price of iPhones in South Korea. A stronger local currency can make iPhones appear more expensive for foreign buyers.

2. Import Taxes and Duties:Import taxes and duties imposed by the South Korean government can increase the cost of imported goods, including iPhones. These taxes can vary depending on the country of origin and the specific model.

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3. Local Market Conditions:Local demand, competition, and market conditions can also influence iPhone prices. In countries with strong competition among carriers and retailers, prices may be more competitive.

4. Special Promotions and Discounts:Seasonal promotions, discounts, and trade-in programs offered by Apple or authorized retailers can impact the overall cost of iPhones.

5. Model and Storage Capacity:The price of an iPhone in South Korea will vary based on the specific model and storage capacity you choose. Higher-capacity models generally cost more.

Should I Buy an iPhone in Korea or the USA: Which Will Be Cheaper?

Whether it’s cheaper to buy an iPhone in South Korea or the USA depends on your circumstances and the prevailing factors mentioned earlier. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

Buying in South Korea:

– Local Warranty:Purchasing an iPhone in South Korea typically comes with a local warranty, which can be beneficial if you plan to use the device in Korea.

– Model Availability:South Korea may have specific iPhone models or color options that are not readily available in other countries.

– Local Market Offers:Keep an eye out for special promotions or discounts offered by local retailers and carriers in South Korea.

Buying in the USA:

– Lower Base Price:iPhones in the USA often have lower base prices due to various factors, including lower import taxes and duties.

– International Warranty:iPhones purchased in the USA typically come with international warranties, which can be advantageous if you plan to use the device outside the USA.

– Currency Exchange:If the exchange rate is favorable and the price difference is significant, buying in the USA may be more cost-effective.

Ultimately, your decision should consider your specific needs, location, and budget. It’s a good idea to compare prices, consider warranties, and research any potential import taxes or duties before making your purchase.

Where to Buy iPhone Duty-Free in South Korea

If you’re looking to buy an iPhone duty-free in South Korea, you have a few options:

1. Incheon International Airport:The duty-free shops at Incheon International Airport in Seoul offer a range of electronic products, including iPhones. These duty-free shops are accessible to international travelers.

2. Duty-Free Zones:Some major shopping districts in Seoul, such as Myeongdong and Dongdaemun, have duty-free stores that may carry iPhones. These stores cater to tourists and offer tax-free shopping.

3. Online Duty-Free Retailers:Some online retailers in South Korea specialize in duty-free shopping and may sell iPhones at reduced prices for international customers.

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Remember to check the latest duty-free policies and eligibility requirements, as they can vary depending on your visa status and length of stay in South Korea.

Can I Buy an iPhone in Korea and Use It in the USA?

Yes, you can buy an iPhone in South Korea and use it in the USA, but there are some important considerations:

1. Compatibility:Make sure the iPhone model you purchase in South Korea is compatible with the USA’s cellular networks and frequencies. iPhones are often sold as carrier-specific models, so choose one that works with your preferred carrier in the USA.

2. Unlocking:If the iPhone is locked to a South Korean carrier, you may need to unlock it to use it with a US carrier. Contact the carrier or a third-party service to inquire about unlocking options.

3. Warranty:Keep in mind that while iPhones purchased in South Korea typically come with international warranties, servicing the device in the USA may be subject to certain limitations or conditions. Check with Apple for warranty details.

4. Language and Localization:Depending on the iPhone’s settings and software, you may need to adjust language and regional settings to suit your preferences and local requirements in the USA.

5. SIM Card:You will likely need a compatible SIM card from a US carrier to activate your iPhone and access cellular services.

Overall, it’s possible to use an iPhone purchased in South Korea in the USA, but it may require some adjustments and considerations to ensure compatibility and functionality.

Can I Buy an iPhone in Korea and Use It in the USA

Which iPhone Is Popular in Korea?

South Korea has a thriving smartphone market with a strong preference for local brands like Samsung and LG. However, Apple’s iPhones also enjoy popularity in the country. The popularity of specific iPhone models can vary over time, but as of my last knowledge update in September 2021, iPhones such as the iPhone 12 and iPhone SE were well-received in South Korea.

Keep in mind that the popularity of iPhone models can change with new releases and market trends, so it’s a good idea to check current market data and consumer preferences when making a purchase.

What Are the Cheapest Phones You Can Buy in South Korea

What Are the Cheapest Phones You Can Buy in South Korea?

South Korea offers a wide range of smartphones at various price points. While the availability and pricing of specific models can change over time, here are some general categories of phones you can consider for budget-friendly options:

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1. Mid-Range Phones:Many reputable brands offer mid-range smartphones with competitive features and performance. These phones often provide a good balance between price and functionality.

2. Local Brands:South Korea has its own smartphone manufacturers, such as Samsung and LG, which offer a range of models catering to different budgets. These brands may have affordable options.

3. Online Retailers:Online retailers and e-commerce platforms often feature a variety of smartphones at competitive prices. Look for promotions and discounts to find budget-friendly deals.

4. Pre-Owned or Refurbished Phones:Consider purchasing pre-owned or refurbished smartphones, which can be significantly cheaper than brand-new models while still offering decent performance.

5. International Brands:In addition to local brands, you can find international brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Motorola offering budget-friendly smartphones in South Korea.

While South Korea is known for its tech-savvy population and advanced smartphone offerings, finding the absolute cheapest phones can be a bit challenging due to the emphasis on high-quality features. However, budget-friendly options from various brands, including local ones, are available.

Some budget-friendly smartphone brands and models that you might find in South Korea include:

– Samsung Galaxy A series

– LG Q series

– Xiaomi Redmi series

– Motorola Moto G series

It’s important to note that the smartphone market is dynamic, and new models are regularly introduced. Prices and availability change very quickly, so I recommend checking local retailers and online marketplaces for the latest options and deals.

Also, before making a purchase, it’s advisable to research and compare different smartphone models, read reviews, and consider your specific needs and preferences. Additionally, inquire about warranty and after-sales support when buying a new or used phone.


In conclusion, the cost of iPhones in South Korea is influenced by various factors, including import taxes, exchange rates, local regulations, distribution costs, and competition. While prices can vary between countries, duty-free shops can offer competitive prices for travelers. 

Buying an iPhone in South Korea and using it in the USA is possible, but it’s essential to consider network compatibility, warranty coverage, and charging adapter compatibility. 

iPhones have a significant presence in the Korean market, and budget-friendly smartphone options are available alongside premium models. 

To make an informed purchase, research the latest prices, features, and local regulations before buying an iPhone in South Korea or any other country.

Why You Should Trust BestKoreanProducts?

All our editors including the author of this article, Jih Yun do extensive research on the products reviewed and recommended in the article. We also use these products ourself to give you accurate, first hand information without any prejudice or bias. BestKoreanproducts has also got a team of medical reviewers and skincare experts to help give accurate advice and provide research-based facts concerning a product, its formulation or ingredients.

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