Apple missing chance to court up to 2.8 billion new iPhone customers as carriers balk

“Apple Inc. is missing out on a chance to court as many as 2.8 billion new smartphone customers, many of them in Asia, as wireless-service providers balk at conditions imposed by the iPhone maker and drag their heels in signing on as partners,” Adam Satariano reports for Bloomberg.

“Apple has announced fewer than a dozen new wireless-service providers to sell the device since September 2011, leaving the total at about 240. Holdouts represent billions of would-be subscribers in countries such as China, Japan, India and Russia, said Horace Dediu, a market analyst who runs Asymco.com,” Satariano reports. “Samsung Electronics Co., Apple’s biggest smartphone rival, sells devices through almost all of the world’s 800 carriers, Asymco said.”

Satariano reports, “‘The narrative has been focused on the consumer demand, and the narrative needs to shift to the operator,’ said Dediu, a former in-house analyst for Nokia Oyj. ‘Apple has run out of the kinds of operators that will say yes to them.'”

Read more in the full article here.

18 Comments

  1. Sent to Satariano and his editor:

    “So, who’s paying you to publish a hit piece on Apple? Haven’t you heard? It’s been out of fashion for a couple of weeks now.

    “As Cupertino, California-based Apple sells fewer iPhones and more of its less-profitable products, its gross margin also has narrowed — to 37.5 percent last quarter from 47.4 percent a year earlier.”

    Fewer iPhones? Your own articles says iPhone sales are up 7%. When did Apple sell fewer iPhones?

    “Apple didn’t see any reason before, but now it has to expand because Android is growing faster”

    Um, iPhone sales grew faster than Android phone sales last quarter.

    These kinds of hit whoring lies need to stop. It just makes you look either dishonest or stupid. Which is it?”

    1. And when did Asymco become the PR firm for Samsung?

      “‘Apple has announced fewer than a dozen new wireless-service providers to sell the device since September 2011, leaving the total at about 240. Holdouts represent billions of would-be subscribers in countries such as China, Japan, India and Russia, said Horace Dediu, a market analyst who runs Asymco.com,’ Satariano reports. ‘Samsung Electronics Co., Apple’s biggest smartphone rival, sells devices through almost all of the world’s 800 carriers, Asymco said.'”

      1. I think Asymco was quoted out of context, from his Twitter:

        @asymco: “Not sure I would have titled it this way”.

        The journo was probably proud he managed to twist a usually credible source into their stupid flawgic.

  2. Stupid article with a worse linkbait title.

    The real question is does Apple want or need those 2.8 “long tail” customers who 1) don’t want to pay to for an iPhone 2) won’t buy much content?

    Maybe such customers are simply better served by the numerous clones and pirated app stores of other platforms.

    1. There’s no question about it. One of the first things I learned in business was that there are some customers you don’t want. They are too expensive to support and don’t generate enough profit to justify it.

    1. I just recently read some articles saying Apple had about 70% mobile profits. Now, Samsung must have recently stolen about 13% of those profits from Apple, so Apple is doomed.

      /s

  3. Agree that MDN via Bloomberg presented Horace Deidu’s opinion in a bad light since Horace is an Apple bull. He’s actually showing that there’s lots of room for growth when China Mobile and Japan DoCoMo come off their high horse or get run over by the smaller carriers.

  4. Apple has not bowed to all of the Telcos demands. Gradually Apple has shown the Telcos that they can make big money with iPhones on their network. Once that happens, Apple eliminates the rest of the Telcos demands.

    Telcos that don’t relax their demands lose more money than Apple does in the long run.

    Telcos won’t remain stupid forever.

    1. Not bowed to carrier demands = refusing to screw consumers with artificially imposed restrictions.

      People need to recognize that apple has been the only phone maker standing up to the carriers and defending consumers for years now.

      Stop buying a false premise.

      The worst part is people blame apple when it can’t overpower the carrier. Like AT&T refusing to allow mms on the iPhone for so long.

  5. These bloggers are becoming more ridiculous by the day.
    To supply 2.8 billion new customers with an IOS device on two year contracts, Apple would need to manufacture about 27 million products per week not to mention hardware and software updates.

    Is it any wonder people despair when they see well paid journalists writing dross like this.

  6. Apple’s strategy has been to break the hold of the telecoms by working with a single, or a select few, provider in each market. The strategy works: the holdouts all lose market share and, in the end, they all come to Apple. Besides, there is always the consumer finance option. The most mature iPhone market is the US. Which US providers are not selling, or about to sell iPhone?

  7. I think it all comes down to exactly how many Chinese consumers Apple can actually supply with iPhones. Unless Apple makes these possibly lower-cost iPhones easier to assemble, Apple isn’t going to be able to meet demand. The analysts just assume Apple is going to go full tilt like Samsung is going to do. I’m sure Samsung is going to divert all resources possible to flood the Chinese market with every shape, size and price smartphone. That I have no doubt about whatsoever.

    I feel safe to say Apple is only going to go after the high-end Chinese consumer and be satisfied with selling about 5 to 10 million iPhones per quarter in China. Samsung will likely triple those numbers. Apple is going to be chided by the analysts and Wall Street for losing market share in China when compared to Samsung.

    1. Apple is going to be chided by the analysts and Wall Street for losing market share in China when compared to Samsung.

      Yeah, but the AnalCysts aren’t paying attention to the fact that Apple owns that sector of the market that Samsung can only DREAM they could obtain.

      Being ‘all things to everybody’ means being nothing to yourself, just another mediocre company in the herd. That’s NOT Apple.

  8. Good ol bill is frustrated himself and taking it out on Apple’s success because Balmer is sending his company that he founded down the tubes. Hey Bill, Do you need a crying towel?

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