Apple has announced the expansion of its services business to dozens of new markets in Africa, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East among others. The tech giant will be launching its services, including App Store, Apple Podcasts, iCloud, and Apple Music, to the new markets in what is probably the biggest geographical expansion for Apple in almost a decade.
The App Store, along with Apple Arcade, Apple Podcasts, and iCloud, will be launched in 20 additional countries, while the music service will be rolled out in 52 new regions. Apple has also announced a six-month free trial on the music platform exclusively for the newly launched markets.
“We’re delighted to bring many of Apple’s most beloved Services to users in more countries than ever before,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and International Content, in a statement.
“We hope our customers can discover their new favorite apps, games, music, and podcasts as we continue to celebrate the world’s best creators, artists, and developers,” he added.
The latest expansion pushes the App Store’s availability to a total of 175 countries and regions, while Apple Music is now available in 167 markets. The expansion shows a paradigm shift in Apple’s business strategy, as consumers have slowed in upgrading their smartphones in recent years. There have also been allegations (which Apple later accepted) that the company deliberately slowed down the older smartphones whenever a new model came out to push the sales. The expansion to the African and Asian regions is also a strategic one given the huge customer base in these regions. The number of smartphone users in the Asia-Pacific and African regions stands at around 900 million, out of which, around 15% are iPhone users. There have always been complaints by iOS users in these regions about the lack of a services ecosystem when compared to the services available to their android counterparts, and the latest expansion is sure to mitigate the worries and bolster Apple’s sales in the largest customer base in the world.
Apple is now focusing on increasing sales from its services business, which accounted for 17.8% of its $260.1 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. The tech giant claims to have their services installed on 1.5 billion active devices and hopes to clock 600 million paid subscribers on its services by the end of this year. Apple will also be offering the subscriptions at lower prices in the new regions as compared to the US, along with a 6-month free trial period.