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China Mobile rumored to get Apple's fifth-gen iPhone in September

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
China Mobile could be among the first carriers to offer Apple's next-generation handset when it becomes available later this year, according to a new rumor.

Citing a report from the Chinese site Bianews.com, analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said in a new note to investors on Thursday that China Mobile may receive the iPhone in September. The source is said to be an employee of China Mobile, who reportedly posted the information on "Weibo," which is China's version of Twitter.

The Weibo message was said to have been quickly deleted, but not before an image of the text was captured.

White noted that if the report is true, it would mean that the iPhone 5 would need to support China Mobile's current 3G TD-SCDMA network, because the carrier's 4G TD-LTE network is only in trials. Apple is said to have already agreed to support China Mobile's 4G network at some point in the future.

"If this weibo message and story are true, this would represent a landmark agreement for Apple, providing the company with access to the largest wireless carrier in the world with 611 million wireless subscribers at the end of May or 68% of the total China wireless market," White said. "Additionally, the timing would be much sooner than expected and provide another growth driver for the final months of (calendar year 2011)."

White has been on top of the Apple-China Mobile story, and earlier on Thursday offered his analysis that Apple would make great inroads in the nation, particularly by reaching an agreement with the largest carrier in the world. In addition, he believes Apple would do extremely well by releasing a smaller, cheaper iPhone that could be sold in China without a contract.

Rumors of an agreement between Apple and China Mobile picked up steam on Wednesday, when a report claimed that Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook was spotted at the carrier's corporate headquarters. Cook was said to be in good spirits, and speculation began to swirl that the two parties are nearing a deal.

China Mobile currently uses home-grown 3G data technology that is incompatible with the existing GSM and CDMA iPhone models. Despite this fact, there are estimated to be 4 million iPhone users on the massive network, running their device at much slower 2G wireless data speeds.

The iPhone 4 launched in China on carrier China Unicom last September, drawing crowds of thousands at Apple's retail stores. The handset debuted first in the U.S. in late June of last year.
post #2 of 20
..... and that anonymous employee is dead.... of apparent suicide....
post #3 of 20
Get ready for the ride....... wheeeeee........

(Add: A silly thought experiment. 10% of CM's subscribers at $600 ASP per handset and net income margin of 20% at a P/E of 14 = 611 × 0.10 × 600 × 0.20 × 15 > $100B!)
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Get ready for the ride....... wheeeeee........

Stock price? Oh yeah.... already up almost 9$ today...
post #5 of 20
How long will it take apple to fulfill demand after the Ip5 launch? After all, it will be on at least 2 US carriers, a massive list of global ones, and now China Mobile, which has 600 MILLION customers? Damn.
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Get ready for the ride....... wheeeeee........

(Add: A silly thought experiment. 10% of CM's subscribers at $600 ASP per handset and net income margin of 20% at a P/E of 14 = 611 × 0.10 × 600 × 0.20 × 15 > $100B!)

Whoa!
post #7 of 20
I read somewhere in an article that Asians prefer Apple compared to other ethnic groups. It makes sense to launch in China first.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

I read somewhere in an article that Asians prefer Apple compared to other ethnic groups. It makes sense to launch in China first.

'Asian' includes every ethnic group. It is a BIG continent.
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

'Asian' includes every ethnic group. It is a BIG continent.

Sorry "East" Asians.
post #10 of 20
http://www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s549642

Would this necessitate having software and hardware support for WAPI? Ie is this a hint we'll see the BCM 4330 needed
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

I read somewhere in an article that Asians prefer Apple compared to other ethnic groups. It makes sense to launch in China first.

What about Orientals? I am not familiar with the peoples of the Far East....


I kid! I kid!
post #12 of 20
So now we have an analyst who is using a tweet from someone claiming to be an employee of China Mobile as a basis for their research note. While I am certain the iPhone will come to China Mobile, this "proof" is tenuous in the extreme.

This is on a par with the kid who posted one of the "Steve Jobs is dead" rumors on a news site. Whatever happened to due diligence? Oh, I forgot, analysts get paid for putting out research notes, not that they are correct.
post #13 of 20
Imagine if Apple sold to a third of them over a few years? Crazy. $$$
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iansilv View Post

Stock price? Oh yeah.... already up almost 9$ today...

You forgot the "Scott Moritz is an idiot" axiom: whenever he posts a negative apple story (99.9% of the time) pre-market, the stock usually rises at least 1.5% { Cramer's bit-whore boy for sure.}

Behold the iFlop!
post #15 of 20
I'd be careful about doing "a deal with the devil"... China is only willing to deal with tech companies that agree to technology transfer these days. I wonder if Apple agrees to anything like this in exchange for access to China's consumers.

And yes, I understand the deal they are making is with China Mobile, but China Mobile like most Chinese companies has an ownership stake by their government.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

White noted that if the report is true, it would mean that the iPhone 5 would need to support China Mobile's current 3G TD-SCDMA network

No, it wouldn't necessarily mean that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

because the carrier's 4G TD-LTE network is only in trials.

China Mobile currently uses home-grown 3G data technology that is incompatible with the existing GSM and CDMA iPhone models. Despite this fact, there are estimated to be 4 million iPhone users on the massive network, running their device at much slower 2G wireless data speeds.

So 4 million users are already willing to use 2G wireless just to use an iPhone. No reason Apple couldn't just proceed with LTE, and hope to pick up more users as China Mobile's LTE network expands. All the statements from China Mobile in the past would seem to confirm this strategy. Also allows a more gentle ramp up of production, as a 3G TD-SCDMA model would likely create the mother of all backorders!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post

No, it wouldn't necessarily mean that.




So 4 million users are already willing to use 2G wireless just to use an iPhone. No reason Apple couldn't just proceed with LTE, and hope to pick up more users as China Mobile's LTE network expands. All the statements from China Mobile in the past would seem to confirm this strategy. Also allows a more gentle ramp up of production, as a 3G TD-SCDMA model would likely create the mother of all backorders!

I'm one of those 4 million users...

and so are my parents, lots of other and other families.

We love the iPhone, but we can't switch to China Unicom because you can not carry your number when you switch. Most of us have been using the same mobile number for years, it's just too difficult to change number.

I'm sure hundreds of millions of people would be pleased to see China Mobile finally offers the iPhone with faster data network.

Also in China, a lot of the working class people has mobile subsidy from the company they work for. Usually they would get 20 to 30 US dollars a month for that, so signing a contract with mobile carrier hardly cost anything.
post #18 of 20
Is the Chinese TD-LTE compatible with the LTE that is starting to be deployed in the rest of the world? Will a TD-LTE work with worldwide LTE? Will regular LTE work with TD-LTE? If not, will roaming just be limited to GSM/EDGE?

I know that China came up with TD-SCDMA so they would not have to pay the generous royalties to QCOM and the GSM group. They haggled the royalties down to nothing. I suspect they want to peddle their tech worldwide at cut rate prices. Not to mention to be able to hack into any system they have installed.

I do not think Apple has any IPRs that China would be interested in licensing. They can just rip them off right from the the Foxcon plants.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

Sorry "East" Asians.

Is that mainland Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Taiwanese, Koreans, Straits Chinese, Indonesians, Indonesian Chinese, Malays, Straits Indians, Japanese, Laotians, Cambodians, Filipinos, Thais...?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebetech View Post

I read somewhere in an article that Asians prefer Apple compared to other ethnic groups. It makes sense to launch in China first.

You mean to say East Asians prefer Apple compared to other regions. Breaking down Asia by ethnicity is a complicated process.
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