Apple's iPad went on sale Tuesday in South Korea, three weeks after the local giant Samsung Electronics launched its rival tablet computer the Galaxy Tab in its home market.
One hundred invited preorder customers, anxious to get their hands on the popular new gadget, lined up before dawn at a downtown Seoul branch of wireless operator KT, the sole Korean partner for iPhones and iPads.
First in line was Lee Jun-Young, 39, who slowly unwrapped the box with a wide grin on his face, then raised his iPad high above his head.
"I love it. I've waited for the iPad for such a long time," Lee, who said he also has an iPhone 4, told the newspaper Money Today. "I plan to use the iPad on my way to work and at home to study English."
KT said it had received 50,000 preorders for the iPad since November 17.
"We've started distributing it nationwide. Customers are receiving their preordered iPads at the moment," said KT spokesman Ham Young-Jin.
The company earlier announced the popular gadget would start selling at 218,000 won (192 dollars) with a two-year contract, rising to 865,000 won for models with additional features.
Samsung Electronics, the biggest rival of Apple, has already introduced its seven-inch screen Galaxy Tab in the United States and Italy and aims to sell over a million units globally by the end of this year.
Apple has sold over seven million iPads worldwide since its January debut.
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