France is a big market for Apple
Apple (AAPL) agreed to an estimated $570 million to settle with French authorities over unpaid taxes, the Guardian reported. While this may be a financial loss to Apple, there is a silver lining to it. The settlement eliminates a distraction for Apple so it can focus on growing its business in France and Europe at large.
France is a big market for Apple. According to data from StatCounter, Apple’s iOS, the software that powers iPhones and iPads, held 37.1% of the mobile operating system market in France as of January this year. That made iOS the second most popular mobile operating system in France in that month, only behind Google’s (GOOGL) Android with a 61.8% market share. Microsoft (MSFT), Samsung (SSNLF), and BlackBerry (BB) held 0.45%, 0.43%, and 0.10%, respectively, of the French mobile operating system market in January.
Apple can now focus more on driving growth in France
Apple has been struggling with slowing iPhone sales, resulting in the company reporting a revenue decline in the December quarter. To offset weakness in the iPhone business, Apple is trying to drive growth in its services division, which includes services such as Apple Pay and Apple Music. France is one of the European countries where Apple Music is available. With the tax issue behind it, Apple can now focus more of its attention on growing Apple Music’s uptake in France and other European markets where it faces tough competition from Spotify (SPOT) for music subscribers. Apple boasts 50 million paying subscribers on its music service.