Apple Inc. (AAPL) opens a retail store in Brazil

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has opened up a retail store in Brazil. The store opened on Saturday, which is one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets. Apple CEO Tim Cook said this in a tweet: “‘Obrigado’ to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!”

This is Apple’s first opening in Latin America. Brazil is going to be hosting the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016. The opening saw over 1,700 people, according to Brazilian news agency, the Globe.

One of the challenges that Apple faces in Brazil is steep import tariffs on products that are made elsewhere. Apple products sell for a premium, which means that it will be out of reach for the average Latin American.

However, Apple cut the prices of some phones in Brazil. Apple worked with Foxconn to start manufacturing some iPhones and iPads in Brazil last year as well. Unfortunately, the newer products like the iPhone 5s is still high. The contract-free 16GB iPhone 5s sells for 2,799 reais ($1,174) in Brazil.

Gartner, a research firm, reports that Samsung sold 42.4% of the smartphones in Brazil as of 2012. They were followed by LG (13.3%) and Apple (9.1%). Apple has a bit of catching up to do, but they have strong brand appeal and could make waves at a rapid pace.

[Source: LATimes/The Globe Brazil]

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