Apple iPhone available to just 50% of mobile phone subscribers worldwide: Cook

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has told the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference that there still remains a huge potential for iPhone sales growth.

“It may surprise you, but iPhone is only available to about 50% of the subscribers in the world,” Cook said.

SlashGear reports Cook also touched on the subject of releasing a low-cost iPhone, noting that the company had seen a surprising response from consumers in emerging economies when previous-generation iPhone handsets were placed on low-cost plans.

However, Cook acknowledged that putting a “free” iPhone on a 24-month carrier subsidised contract is a strategy that won’t work in many developing nations. This led to a proliferation of lower-cost Android-based smartphones.

Earlier this year, Cook met with China Mobile’s chairman Xi Guohua to negotiate the release of Apple iPhone on the world’s largest mobile phone network by subscribers, China Mobile.

According to Canalys figures published by SmartCompany in November last year, Apple held just 8% of the Chinese market, finding itself outside the top five smartphone vendors.

Meanwhile, Apple is expected to lose the rights to the iPhone trademark in Brazil to Gradiente Eletronica, which first registered the trademark in 2000.

Kantar-ComTech figures released in December show Apple’s Brazilian marketshare has slipped from 3.2% marketshare a year ago to just 1.6% today, with Android on 60.7% marketshare (up from 28.9% a year ago), while Symbian continues to be used on 27.9% of smartphones (down from 44.6% a year ago).

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