Pre-orders for Apple's iPhone, set to debut in South Korea Saturday, have already hit 53,000 on carrier KT Corp. With a market of over 400,000 smartphone users and 47 million handset holders in general, and entrenched local competitors like Samsung and LG, AP quotes the former as saying it thinks Apple will "invigorate" things.

Very likely. The iPhone has apparently already caused SK Telecom, the largest in South Korea, to drop service prices for the Samsung Omnia. Apple has also shown the ability to turn dumbphone users into smart, so growing that 400,000 towards that 47 million is no doubt what KT Corp is really interested in.

If you're picking up an iPhone in South Korea, let us know how it works for you!

[Thanks to cherryhead25 for previous iPhone in Korea tips!]