It remains to be seen whether or not the addition of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c to China Mobile’s smartphone lineup will be the boost to Apple’s bottom line that Wall Street has been waiting for. The good news, however, is that the question will finally soon be answered. Following reports that Apple’s new iPhones will debut on China Mobile in two weeks on December 18th, Fortune reports that a China Mobile subsidiary began taking preorders for both the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c on Tuesday morning. Preorders were available in the city of Suzhou only, suggesting that the carrier may have staged a test launch for iPhone preorders. Further evidence popped up when the company’s preorder page was taken down just as quietly as quietly as it went up around 6:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday. China Mobile is home to about 740 million mobile subscribers, making it the largest wireless carrier in the world and Apple’s best bet at making a real dent in the crucial Chinese smartphone market. More →
It appears the iPhone may finally be coming to China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone operator. It is launching a “new brand for mobile services” on December 18. According to the Wall Street Journal, a China Mobile executive said it will soon offer 4G LTE services, which could pave the way for finally launching Apple’s popular iPhone on its network. More →
It looks as though Apple will get to sell its iPhones on the world’s largest carrier, but at what cost? Bloomberg reports that Apple seems to be losing the contest of wills with China Mobile and will likely have to make some significant concessions if it wants the company to carry its new low-cost iPhone 5C and other devices. The issue here is that Apple’s sinking smartphone market share in China has put it in a position where it needs China Mobile much more than China Mobile needs Apple. Or as ACI Research CEO Edward Zabitsky tells Bloomberg, ”in this relationship, China Mobile has all of the power.” More →
Getting its devices on the world’s largest mobile carrier is crucial to Apple’s plan to tackle emerging markets and now one analyst is predicting that Apple will strike a deal with China Mobile to carry the iPhone by the end of the year. StreetInsider points us to a new research note written by UBS analyst Steven Milunovich, who sees Apple having the opportunity to snag “at least one-third [of China Mobile's] total 3G subscriber base or over 100 million users” when it finally gets a deal with the carrier done. Milunovich’s bullish analysis of Apple’s China prospects comes after Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty estimated this week that getting a deal done with China Mobile to carry the iPhone 5C could help Apple become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the country.
With Apple’s market share in China under pressure, CEO Tim Cook seems to be taking a renewed focus on hammering out a deal with China Mobile to carry the iPhone. Chinese publication Tech.ifeng.com reports that Cook is in China this week and will likely meet with executives from China Mobile “in the coming days” to talk about bringing the iPhone to the world’s largest mobile carrier. Getting a deal with China Mobile done would more than double the potential number of iPhone users in China since the carrier’s 730 million subscribers are more than twice the combined subscribers held by rival carriers China Telecom and China Unicom.
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone is available in more than 100 countries from over 240 carriers, however it has never made its way to the world’s largest mobile carrier. Brian Blair of Wedge Partners on Tuesday said that the company will finally bring its smartphone to China Mobile in July with the introduction of the iPhone 5S, Barron’s reported. China Mobile has more than 15 million unlocked iPhone users on its network, however customers are limited to Wi-Fi and 2G data speeds. Blair expects a TD-SCDMA iPhone 5S model to begin production next month. More →
China Mobile (CHL) is the world’s largest wireless carrier with more than 700 million subscribers. The company is also the only major carrier in China that does not offer Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone — officially at least; China Mobile announced that it has more than 15 million iPhones running on its network, but they are limited to dreadfully slow 2G speeds and Wi-Fi for data. The carrier utilizes TD-SCDMA, a 3G frequency developed by the Chinese Academy of Telecommunications Technology, that is incompatible with global GSM and CDMA network devices, meaning that Apple would have to build a custom iPhone specifically for China Mobile. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5 is headed to China next week on the country’s second-largest mobile carrier China Telecom. But do you know who’s not getting the iPhone 5? China Mobile, China’s largest mobile carrier and the world’s biggest wireless service provider with 703 million subscribers. Speaking at the 2012 China Mobile Worldwide Developer Conference, China Mobile’s president Li Yue told attendees “technology is not a problem, [it is] mainly about business model and benefit-sharing issues.” More →
The “next big thing” from Apple (AAPL) might not be a smartphone, tablet, computer or a television, as countless recent rumors have suggested. It might not even be a service like a Pandora competitor or a new TV service tied to an Apple set-top box. Instead, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes the next big thing for Apple will be a deal. In the December 10th issue of Forbes magazine, Connie Guglielmo writes that the iPhone’s eventual arrival on China Mobile, China’s biggest wireless carrier, will be Apple’s next big catalyst. More →
Samsung’s market share in the Chinese market is three times larger than Apple’s and still growing, Bloomberg reported on Sunday. The Cupertino-based company recently began to sell its flagship smartphone on the nation’s third largest carrier, China Telecom, in addition China Unicom, which up until recently was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in China. The new partnership, however, may be too little, too late. “I don’t expect Apple to replace Samsung any time soon,” Gartner analyst Sandy Shen said. “China Telecom is the nation’s smallest carrier, so the extent to which they can help Apple is quite limited.” Read on for more. More →
China Mobile, the largest mobile carrier in the world, still does not have an agreement with Apple to sell the company’s iPhone its 655 million customers. Despite that, the company has announced that it has surpassed 15 million iPhone users on China Mobile’s network, Sina Tech reported on Monday. The carrier has added more than five million users since October, a rate of more than 35,000 users per day. Those customers can use text, voice and only 2G data, however China Mobile has built out a nationwide Wi-Fi network to make up for its 3G shortcomings. Apple’s exclusive deal with China Unicom is coming to an end as the nation’s third largest operator, China Telecom, will begin selling the iPhone 4S on Friday. Analysts at Morgan Stanley predicted earlier this year that if a deal with China Mobile were reached, the carrier could sell an additional 60 million devices by the end of 2013. More →
Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty believes Apple will partner up with both China Telecom and China Mobile over the next year, and will eventually make the iPhone available on all three Chinese carriers, reports Apple Insider. The move could bring sales of the popular handset to as many as 40 million units in 2013 alone. The iPhone is currently only offered by China Unicom, the nation’s second largest carrier. Through this partnership, Huberty believes Apple can only reach 10% of the 150 million “high-end Chinese subscribers” in the country. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile carrier, holds the majority of the country’s high-end subscribers with an estimated 120 million customers, with the final 10% of high-end subscribers carried by China Telecom, the third-largest carrier in China. Huberty also believes Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone is likely to be compatible with China Mobile’s upcoming 4G TD-LTE network, although she notes it is “still too early to know for sure.” Morgan Stanley expects the next-generation iPhone to launch in the third quarter this year — BGR reported last month that Apple will launch a redesigned iPhone this fall — and the firm believes China Mobile will release the new iPhone in late 2012 or early 2013. More →
China Mobile has yet to convince Apple to partner on an iPhone that supports its proprietary TD-SCDMA 3G network, but that hasn’t stopped the carrier from attracting customers to the device. In fact, China Mobile added 5 million new iPhone users in just four months, and it now serves a total of 9.5 million iPhone users, Bloomberg said. Each of those customers can use text, voice and 2G data, and all of the iPhone models it sells are unsubsidized. That may sound like a turnoff, but China Mobile has increased its iPhone user base by building out a nationwide Wi-Fi network to make up for its 3G shortcomings, and the carrier is also offering rebates worth as much as $440. The carrier plans to add an additional 1 million hotspots throughout China during the next three years, too. China Unicom has been an exclusive iPhone partner in China since 2005 and while it has less 3G subscribers than China Mobile, it is able to offer a 3G-capable iPhone because it operates a WCDMA 3G network. More →