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Apple is Potentially Missing Out on 2.8 Billion Customers Due to Strict Carrier Terms

At this point, it'll be impossible to deny the popularity of the iPhone. And due to the iPhone's caliber of popularity, many carriers are looking to offer the iPhone, that much is true. However, that might be easier said than done. According to a new report, Apple is potentially missing out on as many as 2.8 billion new smartphone customers due to the way the company handles their business with carriers.

Apple Customers

According to a report by Bloomberg, the Cupertino outfit is potentially missing the chance to attract about 2.8 billion smartphone users, many of which are in Asian countries like China and India. This is because Apple is just too slow in adding new carrier partners which is a major factor in contributing to the iPhone's stagnating sales. Since September 2011, Apple has signed deals with about 12 wireless-service providers. This gives competitors like Samsung the potential advantage and it puts significant pressure to Apple to release a budget iPhone. Among the providers that haven't agreed to carry the iPhone includes China Mobile, the world's largest phone company and NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile carrier.

So why is this the case? First obvious factor is the price. As you may all know, the iPhone is a very expensive device and the high cost of subsidies is what makes many carriers refuse to be on board Apple's ship. The fruit company can remedy this by releasing the widely rumored budget iPhone. On top of that, Apple does have stringent terms for new carries like guaranteeing a minimum sales tally.

China Mobile Customers

For some operators, these factors are simply too much, especially for the smaller ones. And because of this, carriers have partnered with Apple competitors like Samsung which offer a lot more in terms of styles, screen sizes and prices. Some manufacturers even allow carriers to customize handsets by putting carrier names into the devices themselves, something that Apple won't ever do.

As of now, Apple has partnered with about 240 operators. In comparison, Samsung is currently dealing with 327 providers. Unless Apple decides to change the way it does business with carriers, the competition will continue to seize the advantage. Apple may not have any reason before, but the continued growth of Android may force Apple's hands to do some drastic measures. [via Bloomberg]

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