iPhone Growth Impressive Overseas

By  |  Friday, December 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm

While many are focusing on market share aspects of a report from mobile ad company AdMob today, there are some other interesting factoids within the report that I found especially prescient considering discussions I’ve been having with my friends lately.

Those partial to Microsoft have started to float the argument that Windows Mobile is still far more popular overseas, with Apple the also-ran in those markets. If we’re going to believe AdMob’s work, that’s probably not a very sturdy argument to make.

Since the iPhone and iPod touch are on the same platform, its somewhat difficult to gauge the true growth of iPhones overseas as they are not separated when it comes to detection (how these statistics are compiled). Either way Apple’s growth in some of these markets is very impressive, and should worry the fans of Redmond.

In Japan, the user base has grown by nearly 350 percent, followed by France which has seen a 300 percent increase. Australia, China, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands all grew by more than 200 percent during the year. More details of the report can be found in this PDF.

As should be expected iPhone growth in Canada and the US is lagging, although still up 100 percent. There’s a pretty straightforward and simple explanation for this: by far this is the most established market for the device as it has been here the longest.

I think these numbers are certainly beginning to put to rest the assumption by some in Microsoft that Apple can not compete outside of the US. Yes, Cupertino’s struggling mightily selling computers outside of its home markets — but apparently that’s not preventing people from picking up an iPhone.

When you add to this the data that’s showing Android’s doing well, like Colin Gibbs over at GigaOm is reporting, and data that shows RIM is also hitting its stride, you have to wonder if Microsoft really stands a chance to do much of anything in the mobile space.

Who knows, could we soon be talking about a “Halo effect” when it comes to the iPhone, too?

Caveat: As Technologizer reader John Baxter points out in the comments, we should take into account that some of these numbers on growth may be skewed due to the fact that these are emerging markets for Apple’s iPhone. Like the US and Canada, it’s probably fairly likely we’ll see a dramatic drop off in growth here too as the market saturates.


Read more: , , ,

4 Comments For This Post

  1. Randy Giusto Says:

    Yeah, the smart phone market is zooming along with Apple and Google getting a lot of media buzz. RIM’s results were nice but they will need to evolve the OS and make it more optimized for the Web. 2010-2011 will be critical for them and others. WinMo has its work cut out for it as I believe Apple will push the enterprise button in 2010- one of my Technologizer contest predictions!


    RIM has done well expanding internationally and Apple is riding the international wave right now, although there are a lot of iPod Touch devices in that mix! Hard to divide those waters at the moment! Plus Android will be big in Asia with unlocked, unsubsidized devices since those markets are used to them.

  2. John Baxter Says:

    Big percentage increases from small bases are pretty meaningless. (That’s not what’s being seen world wide, but it is in parts of the world.)

  3. Ed Oswald Says:

    John: good point — I’m going to edit the article to highlight that.

  4. Avro Says:

    I think this whole US centric Apple myth is rather overdone by the Microsoft fanboys. In the UK the Mac situation is pretty good. We have more Mac stores than any place outside the US. I recently went to the one of the Apple Store’s in Manchester (there are 2) and it the doors were bursting with customers. In contrast PC World (our equivalent of Best Buy) had about 5 people browsing in it and nobody was buying anything in spite of all PC gear promoting Windows 7. We have 3 monthly Mac magazines (one has the highest circulation in the world) and another that publishes every 2 weeks. The BBC has admitted that 33% of the hits on its website come from Macs and at Oxford 40% of the students are using Macs. Mac sales are growing here at a faster pace than in the US and we have 3, soon to be 4 carriers for the iPhone and they are everywhere.