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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Apple to provide its services to Africa and beyond in biggest geographical expansion in almost a decade

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Apple will expand its App Store, Apple Music and other services to several new markets in Africa, the Middle East and beyond in the biggest geographical expansion of its services in almost a decade.

Apple said it would expand the App Store to 20 countries, eight of them in Africa, and will offer its streaming Apple Music service in 52 additional countries and regions. 

The expansion is the largest since Apple introduced the iTunes Store to India, Russia and more than 50 other countries in 2012.

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Apple has focused on growing sales from its different services, which amounted to 17.8 per cent of its $260.1 billion revenue in its most recent fiscal year, as consumers slow down on upgrading Apple smartphones. 

Apple’s biggest services revenue generator is the App Store, where it keeps a cut of between 15 and 30 per cent of sales. In Africa, the store will expand to Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda and Zambia.

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It will also become available in the Maldives and Myanmar in the Asia-Pacific region, Afghanistan and Iraq in the Middle East, and several nations in the Balkans and Oceania – to total 175 countries.

The company is also expanding its Apple Music service, bringing the total to 167 markets. Apple’s top music streaming rival, Spotify, operates in 79 countries.

In January, Apple executives said that the company had an installed base of 1.5 billion active devices and aimed to reach 600 million subscribers to either its own or third-party services by the end of this year.

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