Apple, which will introduce a new iPhone version tomorrow, ships fewer handsets to the world’s second-largest mobile-phone market than it does to Norway. Nokia Oyj and Research In Motion Ltd. sell more devices in India, where smartphone shipments are forecast to grow almost 70 percent a year until 2015, helping mitigate their market-share losses in the U.S. and Europe. Sales for the world’s biggest company by market value are hindered because Indian wireless carriers, which started third- generation networks this year, have yet to offer nationwide services fast enough to take advantage of iPhone features, said Gus Papageorgiou, an analyst at Scotia Capital Inc. in Toronto.
Many in the US are ready to discount Nokia – which is transitioning its product line to Windows Phone 7-based devices – and RIM, but they forget there’s a big chunk of the world where Apple is still a relatively minor player. They do so at their peril. Markets like India are huge, and they’re areas ripe for competition from companies that can offer competitive products at prices local consumers can afford.