Apple, Inc. gained access to another lucrative foreign market for its iPhone, as the government of South Korea approved iPhone sales within that nation on Wednesday. The government’s decision follows on a similar ruling earlier this month by Chinese authorities that opened the world’s largest wireless market to the popular wireless device, subject to Apple’s agreement to offer iPhones that are stripped of Wi-Fi functionality in compliance with Chinese law. Home to Samsung and LG Electronics, which rank, respectively, as the second- and third-largest manufacturers of wireless handsets in the world, South Korea is one of the world’s top mobile phone markets with more than 93% of the national population subscribing to mobile service. South Korea, however, lags behind other developed nations in terms of smart phone use, owing to regulatory barriers that critics contend are intended to protect domestic cell phone producers and carriers’ control over cell phone software. Although Samsung and LG have developed smart phones with iPhonelike touch screens for sale within South Korea and abroad, sales within South Korea have been slow as the devices are expensive. Analysts say the government’s decision is likely to spur competition that will lower prices and that will encourage the creation of new Korean-language software applications by independent developers. Granting the iPhone entry into South Korea, the government waived rules that require the use of domestic technology in wireless devices that feature location-based services. Following on the government’s action, Apple is expected to complete an agreement with KT Corp., South Korea’s second-largest wireless carrier, which will enable KT to market iPhones to its customers.