The number of smartphone users in Korea neared 1 million at the end of last year, with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Omnia 2 gaining popularity. However, smartphone users are having trouble whenever they try to use mobile banking services or shopping sites, since the browsers designed for smartphones are not equipped to handle ActiveX.
With the installment of ActiveX emerging as a problem domestically, experts are proposing alternatives. A team headed by researcher Kim Hyung-sik at Cambridge University recently released a study saying Korea’s Internet banking industry should allow users to choose whether to install the programs.
Local officials are looking into the issue as well.
“The discussion over whether using ActiveX is proper is underway at the Financial Supervisory Service as we look to resolve the problem of restricting electronic transactions on smartphones,” Choi Si-joong, chairman of the Korea Communications Commission, said on Feb. 22 in the National Assembly.
Headline taken from a Joongang Sunday interview two days ago, which readers of Korean want to give a look.
The article also has a chart breaking down the market share of browsers overseas and in Korea. Worldwide 62% of people use a version of Internet Explorer, according to those stats from Market Share, whereas 98% in Korea use IE, with 50% of the total using IE6. I mentioned web browsers a little in this November 2009 post looking at some complaints people had with a website created, ironically, to help foreigners, and I wrote that Google Analytics told me a little less than 65% of my visitors over the past month arrived using something other than IE, a high number considering many people visit my site when they're at work in Korea, locked into using Internet Explorer when they otherwise might choose not to. I looked at my stats just now, and saw the numbers changed only slightly, with 42.5% of visitors using Firefox compared to 44.92 in November, and 33.93% using IE now compared with 35.59% then:
Of the users with Internet Explorer, 21.3% use IE6. Interesting to learn that 1.71% of my visits from February 13th through March 15th were on mobile devices. Thanks for the love, but even I don't love this site enough to try and read all that text on a phone or PSP.