iPhones Set To Conquer The World

Dennis Faas's picture

Thus far, Apple has launched the iPhone in 22 new countries with plans for a future Russian launch that could guarantee 1.8 million sales a year. The news has prompted one analyst to forecast the new 3G version of the device will sell 45 million units next year.

The new markets opened up this week range from Argentina to Venezuela and include several countries in Eastern Europe and Africa. The Philippines was first to receive the phone legally, with reports of sold-out launch parties.

Perhaps the most unusual launch came in Greece, where local laws meant the phone had to be sold unlocked. In other words, it wasn't tied to any network carrier. With no carrier subsidies on offer, even the 8GB version costs a hefty 499 euros (US $738). To make things worse, the phone doesn't carry the Greek alphabet, meaning locals must figure out the Roman lettering (English alphabet). (Source: tuaw.com)

The big news comes in Russia, which will have an official iPhone launch this fall. The country already has half a million unauthorised iPhones in use, behind only the US and China when you take into account both legal and other handsets.

It's believed retailers will pay $399 for the handsets, allowing them to charge customers around $1,000 if there's no contract involved. It's unclear how that compares to current gray market prices which began at $1,800 but later fell to $700.

Apple appears to have scored some pretty sweet distribution deals; it seems the three major phone retailers have guaranteed a total of 3.5 million orders in the next two years. There's already speculation that could be such an ambitious figure -- around a third of the Russian market by value -- that retailers could still lose out despite the hefty mark-up. (Source: reuters.com)

The international details are boosting market expectations for worldwide sales. While BusinessWeek reports "many analysts" pegging 11 million sales this year and 25 million in 2009, Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray is predicting as many as 13 million in 2008 and 45 million next year. With Microsoft targeting 30 million sales of its Windows Mobile devices in 2009, it looks as if Apple could mount a serious challenge to the market leader. (Source: businessweek.com)

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