The secret gateway to a brighter future for tech players in the so-called post-PC era undoubtedly lies in emerging mobile markets, as it’s pretty obvious the US and developed European countries have nearly reached the point of saturation.
Luckily, Apple seems to be fully aware of how it needs to play its cards going forward, working around the clock to bolster sales and market share in Brazil, Russia or China. South America’s largest nation recently saw the first local Apple retail store opened, whereas new IDC research confirms iPhones are continuously boosting their prestige in two of the world’s three biggest countries by area.
In Russia, though a measly seven months ago it looked like the leading wireless providers had given up on the iPhone, overall sales actually doubled in 2013. Sure, 1.57 million units still doesn’t sound hugely impressive by Apple standards, yet the surge is relevant and sustains a possible future trend.
What’s interesting is the strategy employed by Cupertino last year to help drive forward profits (to $1 billion, for the record), as the iPhone makers bypassed the carriers and sold their handhelds through third-party electronics store until MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems and VimpelCom took note.
Now? Russians can purchase iPhones via all three networks, albeit prices continue to be fairly steep.
Meanwhile, Q4 2014, the first full quarter with new 5s and 5c models around, saw Apple’s overall smartphone market share grow from 6 to 7 percent in China. Again, not a drastic, mind-blowing hike, but representative of a tendency.
Also, keep in mind iPhone sales in the world’s largest smartphone market are expected to truly blow up after the China Mobile deal, sealed in December and in effect since mid-January. Double digits imminent!
Giving credit where credit is due (as much as you may not like it), let’s mention Samsung still rules over China, with a 19 percent share between October and December 2013, followed by local players Lenovo, Coolpad and Huawei. Apple sits in fifth, though up-and-coming Xiaomi is breathing down its neck, with a 6 percent share.