SEOUL, Feb. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom Co. will release Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4 in the local market next month, ending the exclusive distribution by its rival wireless operator, an industry source said Thursday.
"Negotiations between SK Telecom and Apple are in the final stage," said the source who is familiar with the matter. "As the negotiations are going smoothly, it is virtually decided that SK Telecom will launch the iPhone."
An SK Telecom spokesman declined to comment.
KT Corp., the country's No. 2 mobile carrier, introduced the iPhone in the domestic market in November 2009 and has since sold more than 2 million units.
SK Telecom, which controls about half of South Korea's wireless market, made a push into the local smartphone market last year with a string of Android-powered smartphones, including the Galaxy S by Samsung Electronics Co.
In the U.S. market, Apple began to sell its latest version of the iPhone through top U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Communications Inc. starting this month, ending AT&T Inc.'s three-year exclusive distribution.
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