South Korea's KT Corp said tens of thousands of people jammed its website on Wednesday as it began to take preorders for Apple's iPhone 4.
KT Corp, the country's sole distributor for the gadget, said in just four hours more than 70,000 people put their names down for the popular smartphone after its online shop opened.
"Our online shop server was jammed instantly as too many clients placed orders simultaneously," KT spokesman Jin Byung-Kwon told AFP.
"So far, the number of orders for the iPhone 4 exceeds well beyond that of the iPhone 3GS," he said.
KT said its online shop would receive orders for a week, while shops will take orders until the new model's official launch next month.
Apple has sold more than 850,000 iPhones in South Korea since it hit the local market nine months ago.
"We didn't expect so many people to preorder the iPhone 4 in such a short time," Jin said.
Local competitors such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics have been striving to compete by introducing new smartphones including the Galaxy S and Optimus series.
South Korea's mobile phone market is one of the world's most vibrant, with 45 million users in a population of 49 million. But smartphones have a relatively small share, suggesting huge growth potential.
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