South Korean regulators gave Apple a business license on Wednesday that would allow it to launch the iPhone in the country at any time.
The license allows Apple to operate location-based services in the country itself and clears the last regulatory hurdle for the handset, said Oh Sang-jin, director of the privacy protection and ethics section of the Korea Communications Commission.
Earlier this year the regulator
moved to allow Apple to apply for the license itself rather than obliging it to seek a local operator to run the location services and manage privacy issues concerning user data.
The regulator has said that the move was partly aimed to avoid limiting choices for users in a country where LG Electronics and Samsung, both local vendors, dominate the handset market.
South Korean carrier KT has said it is in talks with Apple about offering the iPhone. SK Telecom, another local carrier, is also reportedly in talks with Apple.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on plans to launch the iPhone in South Korea.