During Apple's April Financial Conference Call Apple's CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple's Q2 (or calendar Q1) demonstrated that they could do well in a number of geographies from emerging markets to the developed markets. Cook then followed up with specific examples: "Brazil was up 61%, Russia was up 97%, Turkey was up 56%, India up 55% and Vietnam was up 262%. I could go on but the point is that there are a number of markets out there where we're beginning to really catch on with. These haven't been particular strong points for Apple." Apple's conference call was held on April 23, 2014. The very next day, a new study was published with findings that put a little wind into Tim Cook's sails about the momentum for Apple in emerging markets.
In a study conducted by Upstream which polled the views of a representative sample of 4,504 consumers in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria and Vietnam in conjunction with analyst house Ovum. Over half of those surveyed (52%) said that Apple is the brand that they currently spend money or would like to spend more on in the future. Microsoft (48%) and Google (43%) were not far behind, but Amazon clearly still has much work to do, with only 21% of those surveyed wanting to or currently spending money with the brand.
Apple's lead in the emerging markets study was interesting considering that Apple noted that this segment of the market hadn't been a particularly strong point for them. Emerging markets were supposed to be an Android stronghold with Samsung leading the way. Yet despite Samsung selling strong into these markets the stats really favor Apple.
The Upstream study found that the most recognized brands in emerging markets was a horse race with Samsung at 88%, Google at 87%, Apple at 85% and Microsoft at 82%. There was only a 3% difference between Samsung and Apple. When you consider that Samsung has been selling into emerging markets for years if not decades, their lead is pathetically insignificant. Imagine what Apple could do when they actually focus on emerging markets a little more as Cook hinted they were now beginning to do.
For now, consumers in emerging markets are putting their money on Apple as the number one brand which will eventually translate into the most recognized brand in the coming months and years ahead. Apple's momentum in emerging markets is for real as witnessed by Apple's latest statistics. So it's not just a theoretical study, it's factual. Moreover, Upstream's latest study simply confirms their data from March which showed that the Apple brand was the most coveted brand in emerging markets.