2008-07-11 02:32:37 GMT 2008-07-11 10:32:37 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
LOS ANGELES, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Apple will roll out its next-generation iPhone on Friday across 22 countries, it was reported on Thursday.
Apple aims to position itself as a leading maker of pocket PCs at a pivotal moment in the worldwide smart-phone market, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Apple, still a relatively small player in the smart-phone industry, is hoping to innovate its way into the pockets of consumers around the world with a lower-priced iPhone that for the first time is engineered to run on a faster 3G network. By year's end, the iPhone will be sold in 70 countries.
"Apple had to be aggressive with a global rollout in order to be relevant," said Tim Bajarin, president of the company's Creative Strategies. "Based on its software and service, Apple is far ahead of its competitors. Their competitors are at least 12 to18 months behind."
A successful launch day will help the company meet its goal of selling 10 million of the devices by the end of the year. That requires well-synced steps with manufacturing partners, phone operators and marketing and sales teams stretched around the world.
Much of the heavy lifting occurred during the spring, or earlier. Apple hired long-trusted partner Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry, one of the world's largest manufacturers of electronic products, to assemble the device, according to the newspaper in Silicon Valley.
Hon Hai, an equally secretive company whose trade name is Foxconn, corralled various subcontractors to supply components of the device. And it has helped oversee the complex logistics needed to ensure the iPhones arrive on the right shelves at the right time.
Apple's iPhone, originally available in only six countries, is challenging cell-phone giants like Nokia, Samsung and Motorola. Apple's influence is already rippling across the globe.
While the high-end mobile devices are just 10 to 12 percent of the 1 billion cell phones sold every year, smart-phones are expected to significantly gain market share in coming years.