Expansion during pandemic: Apple's services arrive in many new markets and regions

Expansion during pandemic: Apple's services arrive in many new markets and regions
Apple will be expanding Apple Music, the App Store, and other services to a whole trove of new markets in Africa, the Middle East, Oceania, and several nations across the Balkan peninsula in what could be perceived as the largest geographical expansion in nearly a decade. Back in 2012, more than a billion and a half people in India, Russia, and other countries gained access to Apple's services.

Cupertino is bringing the App Store to 20 new countries, 8 in Africa (Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda and Zambia) and a dozen others across the globe, bringing the grand total of supported countries to 179, but wait until you learn of the gains Apple Music is making. The music streaming answer to Spotify is now available in 52 new countries and regions across the world, bringing the toal tally to 167 countries. As a comparison, Spotify only operates in 79 countries. Arriving on most developing markets also commands a pretty important change for Apple Music's terms and conditions: while the service costs $9.99 a month and offers a three-month free trial in the US and most developed markets, Apple Music will go for $4.99 a month and offer a six-month free trial in most of the new markets.

The bid here is pretty clear - as global smartphone sales go down and consumers are less likely to upgrade their devices every second year, Apple has put larger focus onto its services division, which is expected to become the next big revenue gainer for the world's largest tech company. For the last fiscal year, the services division as accounted for 17.8% of its $260.1 billion in revnue. 

Wtih a userbase of 1.5 billion active devices across the world, Apple surely has lots of potential for increasing the subscriber numbers of its Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Music services. Indeed, Apple strives to have a grand total of 600 million subscribers by the end of 2020. Yet, the largest money pig for Apple is the App Store, as it grants Apple between 15 and 30% of all app sales and in-app purchases.

How would this expansion of services affect a world economy vastly crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic and a userbase isolating itself at home? Logic suggests that Apple should see a steady increase of subscribers across the board, but the jury is still out on the data itself. Moreover, earlier reports suggested that Apple TV+ might not be a smash-hit-video-streaming service just yet, as it reportedly suffered heavy new subscriber losses from sworn rivals Netflix, HBO Now, and Disney+

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