A Cheaper iPhone Could Compete in the Global Market
In order to compete on the global scale, Apple would need to release a cheaper, more affordable iPhone. This is one possibility for a big reveal, that's supposed to hit tomorrow, that Apple will release a cheaper version of the iPhone meant to compete with Samsung in emerging markets. There is an additional big announcement scheduled by Apple to take place in China later this week, where some are speculating that Apple will release the iPhone 5C (the "C" said jokingly to mean "cheap" or "China", but also possibly "color").
Does Apple want to compete with Samsung?
Another possibility persists, which is that Apple isn't actually interested in competing with Samsung on the global market. Compared to other electronics manufacturers, Apple products are a luxury. Unless your job requires using Mac-exclusive software, you most likely don't need a $3,000 MacBook Pro. There are cheaper alternatives, just like there are cheaper alternatives to an iPhone.
Buying an Apple product is different in emerging markets. Blogger Steve Jackson talks about his experience trying to buy an iPad in Hanoi, Vietnam. Because so few Vietnamese have credit cards, laptops, or even email addresses, the shop he found that sells Apple products registers each device it sells on its own company credit card and email address, and installs pirated software and music onto each new iPad the shop sells. Apparently buying an Apple product in emerging markets doesn't "just work" the same way that it does in Western countries. If Apple released a cheaper iPhone to compete with Samsung, it would have to rethink its App Store strategy.