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Apple rumored to launch first Korean Apple Store near Samsung's HQ

Apple is reportedly looking to set up shop in South Korea, in the same neighborhood as Samsung's home office.

Shara Tibken/CNET

Apparently, Apple's been sniffing around Samsung's home turf.

The iPhone maker is rumored to be scouting property for its first Apple Store location in the South Korea (and the whole Korean Peninsula), according to the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, in Seoul's Gangnam neighborhood, which is home to Samsung's three-story D'light store and one of its main office buildings. (Samsung also has an enormous campus about an hour south of Seoul in the city of Suwon.) Apple has been sending retail executives to scope out a potential spot for months, the Journal reported.

South Korea has a mature smartphone market with 88 percent of residents owning a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center, which is the highest percentage in the world. This is also Samsung's birthplace, and where the electronics giant has its strongest, most entrenched global presence. Apple getting a toehold in Samsung's territory could change the dynamic by making iPhones, MacBooks and the Apple Watch easier for locals to buy and service.

If true, the timing couldn't be better. Samsung has suffered a major blow due to its ongoing global Galaxy Note 7 recall -- and moving into Samsung's hometown, in addition to Apple's current presence in neighboring Asian countries like China, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau, would turn up the pressure.

Neither Apple nor Samsung responded to CNET's request for comment.