South Korean authorities cleared the iPhone for sale in the country on Wednesday by lifting a legal bar on operation of location-based services by Apple, a spokesman for a government regulator said.
The Korea Communications Commission decided to allow Apple to operate the services itself in a "flexible" application of local law, the spokesman said. Without the clearance, Apple would have needed a local operator to run the location services and manage user privacy for the data gathered, he said.
The move partly aimed to avoid limiting choices for South Korean consumers, the spokesman said. South Korean's mobile phone market is currently dominated by local handset makers Samsung and LG Electronics.
South Korean mobile carrier KT is in talks with Apple about offering the iPhone, but details are not yet available, a KT spokesman said. Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Apple removed Wi-Fi from the model of the iPhone to be offered in China this year to obtain the country's regulatory approval for the handset.