Apple could be considered to be a rather exclusive brand. To start with, not everyone can afford to buy its products since they are aimed at medium to high-income markets, and secondly, the company has a restricted distribution network. Carriers have to fight hard to obtain Apple’s permission to distribute its iOS products.
These two factors limit the number of potential Apple customers.
It is interesting to note that the iPhone is not available in ten European markets and iPhone distribution systems are rather scarce in Asia. In fact, the number of Asian countries without iPhone distribution exceeds the number of countries where the iPhone is available, according to Horace Dediu, Asymco’s Romanian analyst.
The iPhone is nowhere to be found in most African, Latin American or Middle Eastern markets. Most readers would be tempted to say Apple has not brought its iPhone to those markets because they are low-income markets, but the company is definitely letting those potential clients slip through its fingers.
In comparison, other mobile phone platforms have a wider distribution network and thus more chances to actually sell their products than Apple.
Another point is that customers who decide to purchase an iPhone have to sign a service agreement that usually lasts for two years. Maybe some users do not like the idea of being bound by contract for so long.