Sameer Singh of TechThoughts did some number crunching to break down iPhone sales based on geographic location. He approximated shipments for sales and looked at the US, UK, Japan and Asia-Pacific in his analysis.
Not surprisingly, he found that demand for the iPhone peaks in the launch quarter and then declines in the subsequent quarters. This trend is seen in the US, UK, Japan and even in Asia-Pacific, which is surprising. Asian-Pacific countries like China are considered to be emerging markets with a large, untapped reservoir of customers. You would expect sales to continue to grow and not reach saturation in one quarter. Singh hypothesizes that the iPhone 5's high price tag is limiting its expansion in China, and claims that the smartphone growth in that region will be driven by low-cost, entry-level handsets.
In the past, Apple has been unfazed by results suggesting the iPhone won't successfully break into emerging markets. Tim Cook repeatedly has said in Apple's quarterly earnings conference call that he believes customers will pay more for the high-quality design and improved performance of the iPhone. Cook also pointed out Apple offers the older models of the iPhone at discounted prices. Even though they are a year or two old, the lower-priced iPhones usually offer a better set of features than their entry-level Android counterparts.