Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 debuts Wednesday and while Apple is an American company, it is also a global powerhouse. California-based Apple posted fiscal third-quarter revenue of $35 billion with global sales representing 62 percent of that figure.
In fiscal 2011, the iPhone accounted for 40 percent of Apple's total revenue, making the smartphone the company's most important revenue driver. The iPhone is also Apple's most important way of bolstering its presence in foreign markets and adding exposure to new international frontiers.
All eyes will be on Apple's stock and maybe some ETFs such as the PowerShares QQQ (NASDAQ:QQQ) and the iShares Dow Jones US Technology Fund (NYSE:IYW) following the unveiling of the iPhone 5, but these ETFs do offer a way of gaining exposure to Apple's long-term international growth plans.
iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE:EWW)
The iShares MSCI Mexico Investable Market Index Fund makes the list not just because Mexico is one of the smartphone markets in the world, but because of the ETF's 22.4 percent allocation to America Movil (NYSE:AMX).
America Movil is Latin America's dominant wireless carrier and smartphone sales and usage are accelerating throughout the region. Smartphone sales accounted for 20 percent of mobile handset sales in Latin America last year and the number is expected to reach 46 percent by 2016.
The iPhone is already available in 17 Central and South American nations. America Movil had 246 million subscribers in 18 countries in the second quarter, making the company the prime beneficiary of Apple's future Latin American growth.
EGShares Telecom GEMS ETF (NYSE:TGEM)
The EGShares Telecom GEMS ETF is not going to win any volume competitions. Average daily turnover of about 860 shares is not going to wow anyone, nor will the fact that the ETF has not traded in almost a week. Perhaps the new iPhone will change that. Maybe it will not.
Fact is, TGEM's country composition shows the ETF is intimately levered to the emerging markets smartphone boom. Three of the six fastest-growing iOS and Android markets are China, Brazil and Mexico. That trio accounts for 36.6 percent of TGEM's country weight. China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), the company that HSBC said represents a third of the addressable Asian iPhone market is 10.3 percent of TGEM's weight. America Movil is another 9.5 percent.
iShares FTSE China (HK Listed) Index Fund (NYSE:FCHI)
The iShares FTSE China (HK Listed) Index Fund may appear to be another run-of-the-mill China large-cap ETF, but this fund has utility as an iPhone play. China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) and China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) already support the iPhone 4S and the latter is expected to be selling the new iPhone by the end of this year. Those two stocks combine for four percent of FCHI's weight.
The big deal for Apple (and investors) will be if the new iPhone's LTE technology is compatible with China Mobile's network. Technology issues have prevented Apple and China Mobile from partnering to this point and a deal with China Mobile could mean big things for Apple. Literally.
China Mobile has 655 million subscribers, triple the number of AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) combined, according to Fortune.
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