During the previous quarter, international iPhone sales grew at a rate of 35 percent. Unfortunately, this was down significantly year over year according to AllThingsD.

Raymond James analyst Tavis McCourt contends that the rise in international iPhone sales is likely to slip to 15 percent during the first three quarters of 2013. During the first quarter of 2012, sales were up 110.5 percent.

Says McCourt of the 35 percent rise during the previous quarter:

This would be a strong result except for the fact that the comp was easy internationally for Apple as the iPhone 5 launches occurred far earlier this year in most countries than last year’s 4S launch. March will be a tougher comp internationally.

International iPhone Sales

International iPhone Sales

AllThingsD suggests two ways in which Apple could improve international iPhone sales. These include releasing a handset earlier in the year, and signing up “a big new iPhone carrier abroad.” That carrier could be China Mobile, which is reportedly in talks with Apple regarding a potential iPhone deal.

Another way that Apple could improve iPhone sales abroad, of course, could be to launch a less expensive handset as has long been rumored.

Earlier  this month, Apple reported record revenues during the holiday quarter. However, analysts have grown increasingly concerned about Apple’s long-term prospects.