Reports from SERI Quarterly, SERI's in-depth quarterly journal on the Korean and Northeast Asian economies
October 2013 The Rise of Korean Budget Airlines
The arrival of budget airlines in Korea has brought new competition to Korea’s long standing airline duopoly, to strong response from consumers. These firms have cut costs, streamlined organizations, and deployed social marketing techniques to attain a high share of domestic and short distance routes.
The introduction of smart TVs, like the introduction of smart phones, has mandated a change in user input methods. Samjin, a Korean partner of Samsung, has brought new innovation to the classic TV remote, whose design has remained the same for decades. Samjin’s remote introduces touch gestures that are changing the face of a familiar device.
Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note was the world’s first commercially successful “phablet,” a phone whose screen size is between that of a phone and a full sized tablet. With its 5.3” screen, the Galaxy Note debuted to skeptical criticism about its size. The market soon proved doubters wrong, and the Galaxy Note became a global best seller.
KakaoTalk, an instant messenger app for smartphones, emerged from nowhere to become a near ubiquitous part of Koreans’ daily lives. Its fast rise to dominance came from Kakao’s unique development approach, and a philosophy of constant improvement. Innovations like the provision of a gaming infrastructure helped Kakao to become profitable in record time.