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 →
In eight hours, Apple’s iPhone will touch down in China for the first official time. Thousands have already lined up outside of Apple Stores, and in Beijing and Shanghai locations, there are hundreds of people waiting in the hopes of getting their hands on the iPhone 4S. The image above was posted on Twitter on January 10th, three days before the highly-anticipated smartphone’s launch. China Unicom is the only carrier set to offer the iPhone 4S, with both the 16GB and 32GB models free with a two and three-year agreements. In the future, the device is also expected to land on China Telecom, the nation’s third largest wireless carrier. More →
Apple’s iPhone 4S may make its debut in China before Chinese New Year on January 23rd. Several retail stores in Shenzhen and Shenyang have already started taking pre-orders for the device, although Apple hasn’t yet said when it will officially launch the phone in China. The rumor was first reported by People’s Daily in China, which said that the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted the iPhone 4S with its China Compulsory Certification stamp of approval on December 21st. The iPhone 4S made its U.S. debut in October and was launched in 20 additional countries earlier this month. More →
The iPhone 5 will support 21Mbps HSPA+ data networks, China Unicom vice president Huan Wenliang said during the Macworld Asia 2011 conference. T-Mobile and AT&T both offer 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity in the United States and market the networks as “4G,” although a recent letter from T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer suggests T-Mobile USA will not carry the device. The image above shows Apple’s progression from EDGE on the original iPhone to 3G support on the iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone 4 and, finally, to “4G” support in the iPhone 5. We reported exclusively in August that Apple is currently in a carrier testing stage with a 4G LTE-capable iPhone, too. Apple is set to unveil its latest iPhone on October 4th and current reports suggest the Cupertino-based company will reveal the iPhone 5 as well as a watered-down iPhone 4S device. Rumors suggest the iPhone 5 will offer an 8-megapixel camera, a thinner and lighter aluminum unibody design and a larger display. More →
China Telecom will offer the iPhone to its 106 million subscribers this year, Reuters reported on Wednesday. China Unicom has been the exclusive iPhone seller in the country since 2009, but China Telecom will introduce an iPhone model on its CDMA network in November according to the report. The launch date implies that the carrier will carry Apple’s next-generation iPhone 5, which is rumored to be thinner and lighter than the current model. China Mobile, the third of China’s big three wireless carriers, is also expected to introduce the iPhone 5 in September. More →
China Unicom topped the 2 million subscriber mark this month and based upon its recent handset procurement, those wild and crazy China Unicom customers love Symbian and BREW, enjoy Windows Mobile, and, though they are buying the China Unicom-exclusive iPhone, they do not share the same fervor for Apple’s mobile phone as their Japanese counterparts. Speaking At the 2010 Communications Industry Technology Annual Conference in Beijing, China, Zhang Zhijiang, GM of China Unicom’s technology division, revealed that 75% of the carriers recently ordered WCDMA equipment is comprised of mobile handsets with data cards (15%) and netbooks (10%) accounting for remaining 25%. Of the procured handsets, 16% run the Symbian OS, 8% run Windows Mobile, 4% run the Apple iPhone OS and the remainder run BREW or a proprietary OS. The bulk of the order, 63%, is comprised of mid-range handsets (priced below 3,000 Yuan or $439USD) with high-end handsets accounting for a modest 37% of the procurement. The take home message from this brief statistical dump is that China Unicom customers love their cheap BREW phones and the iPhone, which even trails Windows Mobile, has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to be the King of the Hill amongst China Unicom customers.
Straight out of Russia are some new images of the Motorola XT701. These renderings are reportedly from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the PRC, China’s version of the FCC. Also, the device has reportedly received certification and is expected to arrive in China and possibly Russia in early 2010. The handset will reportedly ship with Android 2.1 and will include an HDMI port, 720P video recording/playback and an FM radio. Once again we see the curious bump on the side of the handset and and a prominent camera with Xenon flash. Although the back of the phone in these renderings clearly states 8MP, previous spy shots have indicated that the camera is 5MP, which leaves us wondering which information is correct, or if there’s just two variants. Will the real Motorola XT701 please stand up? Hit the jump for one additional image.
Motorola is pretty darn lucky the overly masculine design of the DROID was as well received as it was, but we have a gut feeling its luck will expire with the number you see above. So far a face without an official name, the device appears to be possibly the same one we saw star in some cropped shots the other day save for a 5 megapixel in lieu of 8. Of course having its photo snapped in China and reportedly heading to China Unicom means it’s anyone’s guess whether or not it will ever make it Stateside, but if you’re anything like us you’re praying that it does. That is provided it gets a bit of a make-over because there’s absolutely no need for that Nokia Surge-esque hump. Then again, we’ve heard Motorola is working on multiple models, so possibly this is just a China-specific variant. Hit the jump for some more pics.
It’s finally official — China Unicom will be carrying not one but two models of the iPhone sometime in Q4, having inked a three-year deal with Apple. Unceremoniously announced during a fiscal report, China Unicom hasn’t yet specified which iPhone models it will be offering or at what price points. The smart money is likely on a custom Wi-Fi-free version of the 3GS and the tried and true 3G. China Unicom will begin hawking iPhones sometime in Q4 and odds are pretty good that it’ll sell like hotcakes. Interestingly, it is being reported that the China Unicom deal is not exclusive, meaning this plot could get a whole lot thicker in the near future.
The report from earlier this week that China Unicom purchased five million handsets from Cupertino may be false. China Unicom spokesperson Yi Difei is quoted as saying that China Unicom and Apple are still in negotiations and the International Business Times-sourced report about a $1.5 billion order is not true. Tiffany Yang, an Apple spokesperson in Beijing, also re-iterated that there is no new information about an iPhone agreement with China Unicom. We concede that these official responses may be feeble attempts to defuse a rumor that has spread like wildfire but until official word comes out, we can assume that Apple does not have an additional $1.5 billion in its coffers. The mother lode of iPhones thought to be en route to China has apparently been stalled and that rumored September launch is still just that… A rumor. Sorry, Chinese Apple fans.
[Via Unwired View]
After what can only be described as a long and grueling courting period, Apple and China Unicom finally managed to strike a deal recently. For those who missed the news, the Chinese carrier has convinced Apple to issue a tweaked version of its popular handset with Wi-Fi disabled. How did China Unicom manage to convince Apple to build a special iPhone just for China? Well, the same way any company convinces Apple to do anything — a whole lot of cash. The International Business Times is reporting that China Unicom has purchased a whopping 5 million iPhone 3GS units in a preliminary order as the carrier prepares to launch the device next month. The order, totaling ¥10 billion ($1.46 billion USD), will put China Unicom’s launch inventory at nearly the same number of handsets Apple sold worldwide last quarter. In other words, the carrier is anticipating huge sales come September and wants to ensure its inventory is up to the task. According to China Unicom’s GM of Customer Development Yu Zaonan, Apple’s handset will be priced at ¥2,400 ($352 USD) for the 16GB model and ¥4,800 ($704 USD) for the 32GB model.