SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- Sales of smartphones running Google Inc.'s Android software surpassed the 10 million mark in South Korea this week, according to data from the country's mobile carriers Wednesday.
The country's largest mobile carrier, SK Telecom Co., had 6.18 million subscribers using Android smartphones as of Monday, while runner-up KT Corp. had 2.06 million, they said. Smallest player LG Uplus Corp. lured in 1.86 million.
The 10-million figure represents about 70 percent of South Korea's smartphone market, estimated to be 14.1 million subscribers.
Android supplanted Apple Inc.'s iOS to become the most dominant smartphone operating system in South Korea's wireless market, attracting mobile vendors vying to replicate the success of the iPhone.
Local mobile phone makers, such as Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Pantech Co., picked Android as the operating system for their flagship smartphones, while foreign vendors including Motorola Mobility Holdings Ltd., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB and HTC Corp. tried to capitalize on the country's smartphone craze with Google's free-of-charge and adaptable operating system.
Android's ascent in South Korea also helped Google, a perennial underdog in South Korea's Web search market, to gain ground in the mobile search market since mobile phones have become a major gateway to the Internet.
The mobile carriers, however, declined to disclose the latest sales figure for the iPhone. KT sold 2.5 million iPhones as of April, its most up-to-date data and SK Telecom, which released the iPhone in March, declined to release its sales numbers.
Market reports showed that iOS, Apple's operating system for the iPhone and the iPad, is the second most dominant mobile software in South Korea where Microsoft Corp.'s Windows, Nokia Corp.'s Symbian and BlackBerry software have failed to make a mark.