“Kakao Talk” was the most popular information and technology search term on Google in the first half of this year, said Google Korea.
Korea’s mobile messenger, used by some 50 million people worldwide, recently made headlines over the announcement of its free mobile Voice over Internet Protocol service Voice Talk.
This has led to escalating tension between Kakao and two giant mobile carriers ― SK Telecom and KT, further helping Kakao Talk to be the most searched term on Google, the Korean subsidiary of the global search engine said.
LG Uplus, the smallest of the country’s three mobile carriers, was the only telecommunications company to welcome Kakao’s Voice Talk, while the other two fiercely opposed it, arguing that it could hinder investment in mobile infrastructure and put downward pressure on their bottom lines.
Also, Kakao’s launch of a free phone service application was followed by S&P and Moody downgrading the credit ratings of SK Telecom and KT.
Some 34 million people in Korea use Kakao Talk, accounting for 65 percent of the total mobile subscribers.
After Kakao Talk, Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Note, which was introduced in October, was second most searched on Google.
Over 3 million Galaxy Note units were sold in Korea in the first half, according to Samsung Electronics.
This brand became Korea’s leading Long Term Evolution smartphone, which the tech giant will further promote at the 2012 London Olympics, the company said.
Also, Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S3, which was first introduced in London, was the third most searched phrase on Google.
The smartphone, released in Korea this week, hit 28 markets in Europe and the Middle East in late May, and will be introduced in 145 markets by the end of this month.
By Park Hyong-ki (email@example.com