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The Special Edition iPhone for Emerging Markets is a bit of a Mystery


Last week we posted a report titled "Apple is working with Intel on a New Special Smartphone for Emerging Markets." Outside of China, some have asked why would Apple care about the other BRIC countries like India, Russia and Brazil. Well a new study published yesterday spells out that smartphone growth will be the highest in BRIC countries until at least 2020.


According to the latest report by Strategy Analytics titled "BRIC Country Handset Revenues, ASPs & Price-Tier Forecasts: 2009 to 2020," mobile handset revenues will grow +6% worldwide during 2015.


At the same time, the four BRIC countries combined – Brazil Russia, India, and China – will all grow at rates well above the global average. Led by China, BRIC countries will generate 36% of global handset revenues in 2015. Among the four countries in 2015, China will experience the highest revenue & ASP growth rate.


The report, that's only for paid clients, extensively covers premium, high, mid, entry and ultra-low price-bands. While Apple will continue to sell their premium iPhone line into these countries, they have likely decided to get into the game a little more aggressively in some of these countries where Samsung, Xiaomi and others are competing and winning solid market share gains.


At just over 2% market share in India, Apple has to shake things up to stimulate more sales. While the iPhone 4S has so far been very popular in India, being unable to gain greater market share over the years had led to Apple designing this new special iPhone.


In the end, VentureBeat's rumor claiming that Apple has been working with Intel on a special version of the iPhone for emerging markets using the new 7360 LTE modem makes a little more sense now that we know that the smartphone Industry's growth until 2020 will be mainly generated from emerging markets. If the rumor actually pans out, then we should see Apple's special iPhone emerging sometime in 2016.


2af intel modem for apple's special phone

Noted above in the photo is Aicha Evans, Intel's vice president and general manager of the Intel Communication and Devices Group. Evans is holding up the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, which supports up to Category 10 and downlink speeds of up to 450 Mbps. (Photo: Business Wire)


The only part of the rumor that's a little baffling, if not a mystery, is the fact that Intel's 7360 modem was designed for premium smartphones. The Motley Fool noted recently that "Although its technological progress on modems has been impressive, I wonder how much of a market exists for these Intel high-end standalone modem solutions."


That seems to contradict the very notion of this special iPhone being for the cheaper emerging markets. Is the emerging market iPhone real or was if just vaporware to get Intel in the news cycle prior to reporting their numbers last week? Only time will tell.


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