Apple's iPhone will be released for the first time in South Korea this Saturday and is available from KT Corporation, the country's second largest mobile carrier.

The iPhone will be offered in three different models, with a price range of $342 to free, depending on the service plan chosen.

KT Corp., the country’s second-largest carrier, says it has received 53,000 advance orders ahead of Saturday's official launch.

Mobile industry analysts are also closely watching the impact the of the iPhone on the South Korean mobile phone market, which is dominated by local handset makers Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.

This is phenomenal, said Hwang Sung-jin, who monitors the industry at Prudential Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul.

The iPhone's release will definitely stiffen competition for local companies such as Samsung and LG, Hwang said, according to the Associated Press.

In the U.S., there are around 6.4 million active iPhones. According to data from research firm Gartner, Apple's share of worldwide smartphone sales grew from 5.3 percent in the first quarter of 2008 to 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Apple already has a three-year, non-exclusive agreement to sell iPhones in China through mobile operator China Unicom and is in talks with China Mobile.