Apple Inc. (AAPL) Facing Stiff Competition in GCC

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) realizes the importance of achieving smartphone growth the world over. In other words, Cupertino is not obsessing over the North American market while overlooking what the rest of the world has to offer.

According to IDC, there are a lot of good things happening in the GCC, with shipments of 4G LTE handsets increasing four-fold over the last year.

With smartphone growth picking up in the GCC, with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker showing that these devices make up 75 percent of all cell phone shipments, it is easy to see why every big time player in this industry will be pushing hard to reach the top.

4G LTE Growth

There are many reasons for the 4G LTE growth in the GCC, including declining prices and increased competition. This is where Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) comes into play. IDC research manager Nabila Popal added the following:

“All Apple handsets from the iPhone 5C and 5S now offer LTE, but there is much greater choice when it comes to 4G Android models.”

In other words, Apple is not alone. Android models continue to be a thorn in Cupertino’s side, due in large part to the greater number of smartphones.

Popal went on to add that Samsung remains the number one vendor of LTE-enabled devices.

Get This Statistic…

IDC Research has been keeping a close eye on Africa, noting “the number of smartphones sold in Q3 2014 was up 300% year on year.”

This is the type of growth that has Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), as well as every other vendor, excited about the growth prospects in the region. Not only will Apple have to fight off the big dogs, such as Samsung, but regional brands are picking up steam as well. These companies have the ability to source Android devices from China, packed with features, and sell them at a fraction of the cost of the major players.

It is easy to get so caught up in the largest smartphone markets, such as North America, that others, including the GCC, get overlooked. But just because consumers, investors, and tech fans think this way, it doesn’t mean that vendors, such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), are doing the same.

Disclosure: none.