According to a new analysis from Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty, Apple has yet to explore nearly 67 percent of the potential iPhone market in Asia.
The analysis, presented in a note to investors, suggests that only 22 percent of Asian carriers are selling Apple's iPhone. Asian carriers represent nearly 10 percent of world's highest smartphone penetration demographic (25- to 34-year-olds), about 655 million people. Africa represents the second highest amount at 153 million people.
The 78 percent of Asian carriers that are yet to offer the iPhone represent about 67 percent of that area's subscribers. A recent survey by AlphaWise China found that nearly 90 percent of respondents would be purchasing a 3G phone and 91 percent of those, would get a smartphone. The same survey found that Apple's iPhone was the strongest brand among respondents.
Huberty also noted that if Apple were to make a more cost-effective iPhone option for the Asia market, penetration would be even faster. Due to the potential growth in Asia and the continued success of the iPad and Mac markets worldwide, Huberty gives APPL a target price of $600.
What does it all mean?
It means Apple is in a great spot in Asian markets. Despite recent reports of talks between Apple and Japan's NTT DoCoMo (the largest carrier in Japan), the potential in Asian markets remains strong. With iPhone 4S preorders and, as the AlphaWise China survey found, iPhone brand recognition strong and growing, Apple's ability to sell iPhones is going nowhere.
It seems as though eventually Apple will get its way with carriers that have software, hardware, or marketing demands, and that any carriers that do not currently carry the iPhone will have to jump aboard to keep their current subscriber base happy. After all, everyone wants the option of the best phones on the market. Whether or not you believe the iPhone is the best, the masses do.
Can a wireless carrier survive in the long term without carrying the iPhone? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!