Since the early days of the iPod, when you'd be hard pressed to walk a block in any major American city without walking by a dozen people with Apple's trademark white earbuds dangling from their ears, it has been easy to take the Cupertino company's ubiquity in the U.S. for granted. These days, however, while it continues to lead other American companies Google and Microsoft in the war over the domestic tech market, Apple is still making strides to establish itself as a leader in other countries around the world.
Lately, Apple has been successful in gaining more ground in these markets, reaching important milestones and unveiling innovative projects in several countries in late 2015. Here are some of Apple's recent and upcoming accomplishments abroad:
- India: For the first time, Apple achieved $1 billion in Indian sales in an annual period ending in March 2015, according to newly-published data from India's Registrar of Companies. On its way to the billion-dollar mark, the iPhone company saw a 44 percent increase in sales year-over-year and a doubling of its net profits in India, reported the Times of India. The newspaper credited Apple's performance to an expanded reseller network, better marketing and renewed efforts to make products more affordable, such as discounts, buybacks and installment programs.
- Singapore: Earlier this month Apple announced that it will power all of its operations in Singapore, including its first store there, with renewable energy. The Cupertino company told Reuters that Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group would be providing it with 100 percent renewable electricity from solar energy systems built atop more than 800 buildings. The systems will generate 50 megawatts of solar energy (enough to power the equivalent of 9,000 homes), of which Apple will receive 33 MW, according to Reuters.
- China: Just over a year after releasing Apple Pay to iPhone users in the U.S., Apple has reportedly made plans to launch its mobile payments service in China by early February 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with [Apple's] discussions." The Cupertino company has struck deals recently with China's four largest state-run banks, according to the Journal's sources, which would allow Apple Pay users to link the service with their local bank accounts.
- United Kingdom, Canada and Australia: Apple customers in the U.K., Canada and Australia who make purchases on the Apple Online Store will now be able to pick items up at a retail store in as little as an hour, thanks to a newly-available service called Personal Pickup. Personal Pickup launched in the U.S. in 2011, but was unavailable elsewhere until November 2015. The service is offered for several Apple products, including Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and the Apple Watch.