Not Buying iPods Becomes A Patriotic Issue In South Korea

from the made-in-south-korea dept

Apparently, the widespread success of the Apple iPod in South Korea is ticking off some Korean consumer electronics companies, who are taking out newspaper ads trying to encourage a patriotic boycott of the iPod in favor of South Korean-made portable media devices. Of course, the simple solution to this issue is to make a better product.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 2:59am

    Not to be taken lightly

    "Buy patriotic" is a much stronger theme in that small, homogeneous country. Korean pop culture loves to make imitations of other singers from Japan or the USA, so it's not clear how strong a stomach ipod will have for Korean consumer tastes. Every week, hundreds of new songs that sound just like US/Japanese pop music are spewed out by local artists, with the lyrics changed so Koreans like it better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    nonuser, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 5:00am

    Re: Not to be taken lightly

    They risk someone like Motorola running ads that picture *their* ads. If Koreans aren't going to buy America's hit products, why should Americans buy theirs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    DannoHung, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 5:31am

    A company appealing to social mores rather than in


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    seth, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 6:57am

    Re: Not to be taken lightly

    If Koreans aren't going to buy America's hit products, why should Americans buy theirs.

    Because they are cheaper. Americans do not tend to show much solidarity when it comes to boycotting a country's goods when those goods are cheaper than their American counterparts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    alaric, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 7:17am

    Free Market?

    So what happened to free market and competition? Nothing yet. Product from a korean company has an advantage because it is korean. That is part of the market.

    I must i am little surprised that mp3 players have stirred up so much emotion though.

    Where does apple make those things anyway? China? Taiwan? malaysia? Maybe its nice to see people caring about employing their own citizens, something americans don't care about

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Bob, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 8:44am

    American Competition

    When Koreans can't compete with iPod, Apple really is doing something right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Jim H., Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 9:43am

    Re: Not to be taken lightly

    I'm sorry which particular products do Americans still manufacture? I don't know of any American branded electronics which are made in the U.S.!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Chomper, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 10:02am

    Re: Not to be taken lightly

    Hahaha, finally someone who is at least educated in these issues.

    America has barely any competitors to South Korea in TV's other devices of the such. Take a look at Electronics stores. Zenith is owned by LG.

    If anything, it's just a last ditch effort by the South Korean MP3 companies. I've seen a lot of them and they are good products.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 1:29pm

    what is Korea good for anyway....

    better you say it...

    the only thing I see coming out of Korea is a ton of spam mail...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    oranckay, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 4:58pm


    Where does the Chosun story or any other mention a boycott?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Vincent, Mar 2nd, 2005 @ 8:36pm

    No Subject Given

    First, to take the companies' side. Let's say your a Korean company. You know some Koreans might by the argument that they should buy locally to fend off the latest affront of those damn imperialists. If I were a Korean company and thought that would work and increase my sales, I'd do the same thing. That's the joy of a free market economy: companies can do whatever they want to if they can trick some unthinking consumers to make a few purchases. And that includes pretending there's some fuzzy nationalistic advantage to buying domestic at a higher price and/or lesser quality.
    Then there's the obvious other side... buying because of the country of origin - as opposed to product quality - lets domestic producers sit more complacently with inferior products rather than stepping up to the plate and really competing with the threatening companies.
    Let's not kid ourselves here though... Korea's not the only one to have companies jump on the nationalism boat to boost flagging sales. In particular, this sounds a heckuva lot like U.S. automakers' reaction to Japanese imports. U.S. automakers eventually decided to get down to business.
    In the end though I question how effective this will be. Even in this era of Republican-induced hyper-patriotism, if you started flying the flag and telling American kids to buy Xbox instead of Playstation 2, how effective do you think that would be? I doubt it'll be much more effective in Korea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Dominic, Mar 3rd, 2005 @ 6:11am

    Re: Free Market?

    Americans to care about employing their citizens. The problem is that we also care about paying them. That's why the LOW paying jobs go to Asia and our standard of living increases.

    5.6% unemployment rate in America. Germany is over 13% unemployment. Before you spout your 'Hate America' dialog, get some education.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    oranckay, Mar 3rd, 2005 @ 7:13am

    Here's the ad!

    The advert in question can be found here. Again, there is no mention of a "boycott." The company just promises to defend Korea's pride as an MP3 device producing nation. It does not mention Apple by name. Also, it starts by discussing how its a problem to entrust the work of producing electronic handheld dictionaries to foreign companies (which the company also produces), the defense of the Korean language being celebrated cause because of what the Japanese tried to do to Korean during colonial rule. Microsoft learned that quickly, though it was being heavy handed about expanding its market share in Korea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    David Oh, Aug 12th, 2005 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Here's the ad!

    Thank you for being the only one who actually did some research and found this article to be essentially a lie. Techdirt editorial staff should be ashamed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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