March 24, 2019

Korea’s exports of handsets falls to 15-year low

PUBLISHED : June 11, 2018 - 10:35

UPDATED : June 11, 2018 - 10:35

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[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s exports of handsets fell to a 15-year low over the January-April period this year, data showed on June 11.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT and Statistics Korea, the country shipped US$4.8 billion worth of handsets in the four-month period, down 26 percent from the same period last year.

This marked the lowest number since US$4.5 billion posted over the first four months of 2003. Korea’s exports of handsets had reached a whopping US$11.6 billion in 2008.

The country’s exports of handsets later backtracked to US$5.7 billion but rebounded to between US$8-9 billion after 2014 following the expanding sales of smartphones.

Korea’s exports of handsets, however, continued to fall starting in 2016 as Chinese rivals rolled out more price-competitive devices in the market.

Local companies also produced more smartphones abroad than home, with the overseas production accounting for 91 percent of the total as of 2017, compared with just 16 percent posted in 2010. 

By region, Korea’s exports of handsets to China fell 27.4 percent to US$340 million in April from a year earlier. Shipments to the United States also decreased 40.8 percent to US$390 million over the cited period.

By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (

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