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Apple’s Own Rules Are Stunting The iPhone’s Growth Around The World

Not everyone can sell iPhones. In order to do so, a company must agree to Apple’s terms and continue doing so. Unfortunately, these rules mean that Apple is missing out on signing up 2.8 billion new smartphone buyers, according to Horace Dediu, a market analyst who runs Asymco. These findings were first publishing by Bloomberg. Nearly six years after the first iPhone debuted, Apple is finding it more difficult to sign up new carriers around the world. Since 2011, fewer than a dozen new wireless-service carriers have signed up to sell Cupertino’s flagship product. The reason: they simply won’t agree to Apple’s terms, which include minimum sales guarantees, and set prices per unit. The result: Apple currently has just 240 carriers worldwide, compared to Samsung’s 800. The problem for Apple is that some of the carriers that don’t yet sell the iPhone are also among the largest in the world. These include China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the world, and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo Inc. Cupertino is also missing out with key carriers in India, and Russia. As Dediu notes:
The narrative has been focused on the consumer demand, and the narrative needs to shift to the operator. Apple has run out of the kinds of operators that will say yes to them.
Of course, this is yet another reason Apple is likely to release a budget phone later this year. The so-called "iPhone mini" could launch as early as June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. When it does, it could be priced at as little as $200, according to the most recent rumors. As Walter Piecyk, a technology analyst at BTIG LLC states:
The carriers that haven’t gotten the iPhone are in markets that need a lower-priced phone. A $600 phone doesn’t cut it for 80 percent of the wireless market that is prepaid -- you’re talking about people with monthly bills of $10 to $11.
WWDC is scheduled to begin on June 10. AppAdvice will provide full coverage of the event. See also: Apple's Budget iPhone Could Grab 11 Percent Of Low-Cost Market By 2014, and A Large Reward Awaits iPhone 5 Owners. Photo: Possible iPhone mini leak, Tactus
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