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At 400,000 Won (300 GBP), a third of a typical households monthly income these phones are expensive. But it has not prevented a country were 3/4 of population possess a mobile phone and were all have become crazed over them. Their popularity is soaring, their uses are multiplying and their dependency is increasing on a daily basis. Everybody must have one; everybody will scrimp and save on food and clothes until they have one and without which life is not worth getting up in morning for.
Since their introduction in 2001, one fifth of mobile phone carriers now have a camera type one. It is not just camera that attracts such fervor and desperation to own one. As one Korean housewife called Moon Ae-ran said, “I can turn on washing machine and other home appliances with my mobile phone even when I am out shopping”. In fact she went on further to say that, “How can I live without this thing?”
“A mobile phone can get you to your destination, for example, closet, gas station or whatever” said Lee Sang Chul. Mr Lee is a thirty seven year old business man who spends 200GBP on his phone bills every month. How he has survived without it is anybodies guess and how he has ever managed to conduct business when he doesn’t even know where his closet is even harder to imagine but such is life in Korea. He went on to say that “it has so many cool functions. It’s a part of my life”.
Back at Koreas majority phone producers’ headquarters workers and visitors are trying to come to grips with a life without a phone. Directors are desperately reading instruction manuals on ‘How to Use a Land Line Phone’ and workers are queuing up to use coin phones that have been dusted off and re-installed.
Ieuan Dolby is the Author and Webmaster of Seamania . As a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy he has sailed the world for fifteen years. Now living in Taiwan he writes about cultures across the globe and life as he sees it.