Looking Back at 2006 IT Panorama

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Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Samsung Electronics LCD TV Bordeaux ranked number one sales record in the world TV market. Bordeaux LCD TV was launched in April 2006, and it sold over two million products in only eight months.

Especially, the sales until November were over one million and it had a great record for an additional one million products being sold in a very short period, only for two months.

Samsung Electronics LCD TV swept the world

Mobile phone subscribers exceeded 40 million

Mobile phone users were over 40 million up to the end of November. This is 82.2% of the whole Korean population, which is 48,500,000.

Korea started CDMA digital mobile phone service in 1996 for the first time in the world, and CDMA 200 1x common service started in 2000, CDMA 200 1x EVDO service in 2002, HSDPA and mobile Internet WiBro in 2006 for the first in the world too.

Space developments boomed up

Korean space development wrote new history in 2006. In July and August, Korean multi-use satellite Arirang 2 and telecommunication satellite Mugunghwa 5 were successfully launched. The ministry of science and technology also picked two people for space exploration. Korea is going to be the one of the spacefaring countries in April 2008.

Celebration of US$300 billion in exports

In 2006, Korean exports were over US$300 billion. Export growth was fifteen thousand times bigger than 1948 which was nineteen million dollars. Also it only took two years to go from US$200 billion in 2004. This prosperous export background is a great role of digital electronics and the IT area. Digital electronics and IT parts export is assumed to be 35% of whole export.

Development of 40nm, 32 GB NAND flash memory

High-precision machines of Samsung Electronics etched circuits with 40-nanometer (nm) technology, roughly one 3,000th the thickness of a human hair, on the face of silicon wafers. The wafers were cut into numerous pieces to make 32-gigabit (GB) NAND flash memory chips. Each thumbnail-sized chip has the capacity to store data equivalent to 25 years of a 40-page daily newspaper.

Sea Story made a huge wave

The game machine called Sea Story caused big confusion in the Korean game industry which is one of the top three industries in the world. This is because the Korea Media Rating Board made a wrong decision to rate Sea Story as a game. With this confusion and wrong decision of the government authorities and organizations, the whole game industry got into trouble.

WiBro begans commercial service for the first time in the world

Commercializing WiBro for the first time in the world was one of the hottest issues in the IT market. WiBro allows people on the road to remain hooked up to the Web through laptops or personal digital assistanttype terminals at the speed of current fixed-line broadband. Mobile reception is possible even when people move at the speed of 100 kph.

Growing popularity of UCC and web 2.0

Video-sharing Web sites based on web 2.0 have become highly popular globally. Often called video UCC (user-created content), they allow users to upload a few minutes of video clips on a server and show them to anonymous users without charging them.

Era of Mobile TV

Walking and watching TV was regularized everywhere. Korea started Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), DVB-H in Europe, and American media company and cable TV channels were onto mobile TV business or are ready to do it. IT companies and Media Companies were focusing on the mobile TV as a new break though of a new generation business.

Dr. Hwang Woo-suk scandal

Dr. Hwang Woo-suk was a world-renowned researcher in the area of cloning who faked his research results, tarnishing the image of Korea's science community. Even when the world negated Hwang's falsely-claimed exploits on patient-specific stem cells, it acknowledged the veterinarian indeed cloned a dog for the first time in history.

Combining MIC and KBC

The broadcasting and communication merging committee decided to combine the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) and the Korean Broadcasting Commission (KBC). With this decision, the broadcasting and communication merging committee's establishment and managment law is going to be legislated.

Exchange rate fell

Won dollar rates hit a 9 year low, and won yen rates fell down rapidly. The won is expected to maintain its strength on the dollar's overall weakness amid increasing signs pointing to a slowdown in the world's largest economy. A stronger won makes Korean goods expensive in overseas markets and erodes corporate earnings.

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