iPhone 5 To Reach 50 More Countries In December

Apple's iPhone 5 will go on sale in 50 new countries this month, starting with Korea on December 7.
Six Ways The iPhone 5 and iOS 6 Amp Up Social Opportunities
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Apple is preparing to double the number of markets in which it sells the iPhone 5. It announced today that December will see iPhone 5 availability expand to 50 new markets. The device is currently available in 47 markets.

South Korea will be the first of the new markets to receive the iPhone 5, where it goes on sale December 7. Korea is home to smartphone leader Samsung and its in-country rival, LG. Samsung has a strong presence in South Korea with its flagship Galaxy S III and Note II smartphones, among many other models.

Apple is also making the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad available in China on December 7. Apple's iPad leads the Chinese tablet market with 71%.

[ Apple is now selling an unlocked, contract-free iPhone 5. Read more at Unlocked iPhone 5: Worth The Cost? ]

A second round of countries will have access to the iPhone 5 beginning Friday, December 14: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Ecuador, Grenada, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Beginning Friday, December 21, the iPhone 5 will be available in Barbados, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia, Uganda and Vietnam.

The iPhone 5 has been a strong seller for Apple. The company moved more than 4 million units the first weekend it was available for sale in September. By the end of the year, the iPhone 5 will be available from some 240 wireless network operators in 100 different markets.

Analyst firm Canaccord is bullish on Apple's iPhone 5 sales for December and the fourth quarter. "Bolstered by the iPhone 5, we believe Apple's industry-leading software ecosystem and integrated hardware experience will lead to a strong multi-year product cycle," the company said in a note to investors today.

Canaccord believes Apple will sell 47.5 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, which is up a bit from its earlier estimates of 45 million.

Samsung, meanwhile, is on track to sell 60 million smartphones during the fourth quarter.

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