Video: Apple opens first Latin American store in Brazil. But stills number 3.
Francisco De Jesùs.
Apple oppened its first Latin American store in Brazil, and comes in a country that is set to host the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016.
Chief Executive Tim Cook announced the opening in a tweet: "'Obrigado' (Thanks) to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!"
The throngs on hand for the opening were the latest evidence of just how popular the Apple brand is in Brazil.
Apple in Brazil examined some hurdles. Among them: Brazil levies steep import tariffs on products made elsewhere, making Apple's already pricey products even more costly.
Apple has taken some steps to be more cost competitive in Brazil, such as cutting the prices of some phones. It also worked with Foxconn to begin manufacturing some iPhones and iPads in Brazil starting last year.
"Apple’s 16-gigabyte, contract-free iPhone 5s will sell for 2,799 reais ($1,174) in Brazil. That compares with $649 in the U.S. and 5,288 renminbi ($872) in China. The price of the iPhone 5s in Brazil, offered by authorized resellers, has jumped 17% since September on Apple’s website."
In recent years, Apple has made some other moves to be more competitive in Brazil, such as opening a Brazilian iTunes store and hiring a Brazilian to oversee its Latin American operations.
Still, Apple remains far behind.
In 2012, according to research firm Gartner, Samsung sold 42.4% of the smartphones in Brazil, followed by LG with 13.3% and Apple with 9.1%, just barely ahead of Nokia and Motorola.
Cook has acknowledged that his company needs to find ways to make its products more appealing in emerging markets.
"There are a lot of markets where we don't sell anything," Cook said at the company's annual shareholder meeting last year. "I look at it as the glass half full. We have a lot of work to do there."
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