Apple added 26 new iPhone carrier partners worldwide in November, total now at 433
Last month, Apple added 26 new global carrier partners, greatly expanding the potential reach of its hot selling iPhone lineup and positioning the new iPhone 6s for continued growth.
All of the 26 carrier additions made in the month of November came from Africa, analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo Securities revealed in a note to investors on Tuesday. Currently, 86 percent of mobile providers in Africa offer the iPhone.
According to Um, the number of carriers added last month was a "significant" number that should help boost iPhone sales for the current December quarter. Apple now has 433 total carrier partners across the globe.
The iPhone is available in 169 countries, and its partnerships cover an estimated 93 percent of global mobile subscribers, according to the World Bank.
Um estimates that iPhone penetration is only at 7.7 percent of the global market, giving Apple plenty of room to grow. Apple has sold 821 million total iPhones to date, and Um's estimates assume that 500 million of those are active subscribers.
Apple's expansion in Africa is also joined by promotions in India, where discounts are expected to drive Apple's best-ever quarter in local sales, Um said. He noted that sales from Africa or India won't mean as much to Apple's bottom line, but they reflect strategic moves by the company to increase sales without having a significant effect on margins.
Market watchers expect Apple to post yet another record quarter for the current December frame, driven by demand for the new iPhone 6s series. Apple's current all-time record came in the holiday quarter a year ago, when the company sold 74.5 million iPhones in a three-month span. Analyst estimates see iPhone sales creeping closer to the 80 million threshold this year.
Wells Fargo Securities has maintained an "outperform" rating for shares of AAPL with a "valuation range" of $125 to $135.