Analyst Sees Huge Growth Potential For Apple’s iPhone In Asia

News | Wednesday November 16 2011 4:32 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , ,

reports that according to analyst Katy Huberty of investment bank Morgan Stanley, Apple has a huge potential for growth globally, as 67% of Asian smartphone buyers don’t have access to the
. Expanding its realm of carrier partners is the key to tapping this potential.
expansion since 2008. This is especially true for the iPhone . Apple has partnered with over 230 carriers and the iPhone has a presence in 105 countries, which is a large part of why they’ve been pushing 20 million units per quarter this year.
Apple ‘s carrier partners in Asia constitute only 22% of the total, which means that 67% of subscribers are left out in the cold. Apple could expand into that subscriber base by first partnering with more carriers.
China seems to be the key area. China’s second-largest carrier is China Unicom, and they’re currently the only ones licensed to sell the iPhone there. The largest carrier, China Mobile, still reported over 10 million customers using the device on their network. 90% of respondents in a smartphone survey said they would be likely to purchase a 3G phone as their next device, and 91% would make that a smartphone. In addition, 38% said they planned on buying an iPhone . Huberty feels that offering a more competitive price point – $300 – can double that.
The main hurdle to Apple ‘s potential growth is pre-paid users. 69% of cell phone users worldwide use pre-paid services. While in the past,  the post-paid subscriber base has been slow to rise compared to pre-paid subscribers, they have superceded the latter since June of this year. The larger rate of growth for post-paid subscribers will work in Apple ‘s favor, as will partnering with more carriers. Analysts have predicted that Apple will team up with all three of China’s largest carriers by 2012.
Since most smartphone users are between 25-34 years old and Asia has 655 million people (10% of the world’s population) in that age group, and since Apple already has a strong brand name there, it’s poised to take a huge chunk of that market if it prices the iPhone competitively. And, considering Apple may launch the
 (albeit very highly priced) very soon, they may see those profits soar sooner rather than later.

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