Mobile Giants Forced To Reckon With Emerging Markets

Jon Fortt | CNBC | February 25, 2013

Last quarter, Apple made $6.8 billion in sales in "Greater China" — which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan — up 67 percent from the year before. Sales in the Americas and Europe? Up less than 15 percent.

This, in a nutshell, is the challenge that faces the entire mobile industry: Growth opportunities lie in emerging markets, where a new price-sensitive middle class is booming. To win the next phase of the computing race, the heavyweights will have to rethink their approach.

That's also what's weighing on Apple's stock— and it's sure to be a major discussion point at the company's shareholder meeting Wednesday. Investors worry that last quarter's declines in gross margins and earnings growth is a sign of things to come. If Apple has to sell its devices for less money to grow in emerging markets, or risk losing market share to Google, it puts the company's unstoppable image in doubt...