Apple’s iPhone 4S will launch in more than 20 new markets on January 13, as the company takes steps toward cutting down Android’s lead in worldwide market share.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will launch its smartphone in China after months of being stymied in the country’s regulatory approval process, according to speculation.
Several countries in Africa and the Caribbean will also be getting the iPhone 4S, including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, the British Virgin Islands, Bolivia, Antigua and Botswana.
“Customer response to our products in China has been off the charts,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “With the launch in China next week, iPhone 4S will be available in over 90 countries making this our fastest iPhone rollout ever.”
Cook has strong reason to be excited about the extension of the iPhone 4S to other countries, specifically in China. The 4S first debuted in Hong Kong in early November, and the device sold out in minutes. Regional carriers in China have been advertising the device for the past few weeks, and it is expected to be in high demand when it launches later this month.
Android has owned the Asian market over the past two years, but Apple may be able to put a small dent into the platform’s dominance with an expanded launch of its highest selling smartphone yet. The company already began offering the iPhone 4 and 3GS at discounted prices to compete against lower-end offerings from Android, and the 4S will now serve as its high-end offering.
Apple will likely not surpass Google’s operating system in worldwide market share any time soon due to the number of manufacturers making so many Android-powered phones. However, Apple’s expanded presence overseas could turn into a great revenue boost for the company, and make its devices a viable option, rather than an afterthought, in more countries overseas.
The iPhone 4S has sold faster in the U.S. than any of its predecessors, and if the device can continue its strong performance internationally, Apple will be on its way to challenging Android overseas.