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With China Telecom iPhone deal final, Apple turns attention to China Mobile

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
A deal for Apple to offer the iPhone on the largest mobile carrier in the world, China Mobile, is said to now be "months away" after a newly announced deal with China Telecom.

China Mobile officials are reportedly "aggressively negotiating with Apple to sell the iPhone," but the carrier's non-standard unique 3G wireless technology remains a roadblock, according to Reuters. But the launch of the carrier's 4G TD-LTE network is expected to be a "precursor to a deal with Apple."

With more than 600 million subscribers, China Mobile is the largest prize in the world among wireless carriers. That compares to 117 million total subscribers at China Telecom, which was announced as a new official iPhone carrier on Monday.

China Telecom will begin offering the iPhone 4S at a fully-subsidized price starting March 9. Its freshly inked deal with Apple marks the end of exclusivity for China Unicom, which has offered the iPhone since 2009.

China Telecom is the third-largest wireless carrier in China, as China Unicom has more than 160 million subscribers. But even combined, the two of them are not even half of the more than 600 million subscribers who use China Mobile.




The total number of mobile subscribers in China is expected to top 1 billion this year. But as the market has grown, Apple's market share has reportedly slipped over the last two quarters, hampered by its availability on just one carrier.

China has become an increasingly important part of Apple's business, and the nation has been a particular area of focus for the company's chief executive, Tim Cook. In the last quarter, Cook described China's demand for the company's products, particularly the iPhone, as "staggering."

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 27
Sounds like a tidal wave is coming.
post #3 of 27
SoftBank, one of the two iPhone carriers in Japan, is using a variation of the TD-LTE that is China Mobile is using for '4G'. I wonder if both will be included on the iPhone when LTE is released or if that will come farther down the line.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 27
As I recall, China Mobile has been holding out because they want a cut of App Store sales from Apple. You have to keep in mind that China Mobile is partially owned by the Chinese government.... They want kickbacks and gratuities for "the pleasure and privilege of doing business in China".

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post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

As I recall, China Mobile has been holding out because they want a cut of App Store sales from Apple. You have to keep in mind that China Mobile is partially owned by the Chinese government.... They want kickbacks and gratuities for "the pleasure and privilege of doing business in China".

Actually, I think all 3 carriers are significantly owned by the government.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Actually, I think all 3 carriers are significantly owned by the government.

You're probably right, although China Mobile is so massive it's really the one that counts. It's like the Chinese AT&T.

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post #7 of 27
Good thing the new LTE chips announced by Qualcomm support this particular LTE standard.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

You're probably right, although China Mobile is so massive it's really the one that counts. It's like the Chinese AT&T.

Except that AT&T isn't the biggest carrier in the US.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Good thing the new LTE chips announced by Qualcomm support this particular LTE standard.

I saw that they will support TDD and FDD LTE. That's a good thing but when will that be ready for smartphones and when will that be ready for a smartphone like the iPhone?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #10 of 27
This puppy is going to rock! I think Apple is just going to settle out-of-court with Proview and get that nuisance out of the way.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I saw that they will support TDD and FDD LTE. That's a good thing but when will that be ready for smartphones and when will that be ready for a smartphone like the iPhone?

IMHO, early yields have been around for a little bit and I am quite sure that Apple has been testing it already. I think that this announcement today means that it's ready in mass quantities.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

IMHO, early yields have been around for a little bit and I am quite sure that Apple has been testing it already. I think that this announcement today means that it's ready in mass quantities.

I hope so. They took a hit with the Verizon iPhone by including that MDM6600. The talk time could have been much higher had they used a dedicated chip but I think in the long run they will benefit greatly by pushing this full world mode chip design. I assume they are working with Qualcomm in ways that no other handset vendor has in the past.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

As I recall, China Mobile has been holding out because they want a cut of App Store sales from Apple. You have to keep in mind that China Mobile is partially owned by the Chinese government.... They want kickbacks and gratuities for "the pleasure and privilege of doing business in China".

The problem may be that China Mobile is trying to insist on putting its own bloat ware and its own media content ecosystem on the iPhone.

Many carriers have tried to demand this but Apple has consistently refused. Eventually most carriers have to cave in or start losing their most affluent and profitable subscribers to competitors selling the iPhone.

I believe this is what happened with Verizon, who eventually had to cave in and tow the Apple line.

In Japan NTT DoCoMo have also been holding out, trying to monetize their media selling eco-system. They used to be the largest mobile carrier in the world, But no longer. They are now losing their best subscribers and their profits are stagnating, while the competition selling iPhones are growing their earnings fast. This will just get worse and worse for DoCoMo until they face reality and meet Apple's conditions.

When China Mobile say they are negotiating "aggressively" this may be literally true as they try to bully Apple to accept. But notwithstanding the fact that they enjoy strong government support, China Mobile will see their best subscriber's haemorrhaging to the other iPhone selling two carriers.

This is a face off between two titans but I think Apple will win.
post #14 of 27
According to this Wikipedia page, China Mobile has nearly 650M subscribers... that's nearly 6 times more than Verizon! You could add Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint together and you'd still have just over 1/2 of what just China Mobile has... now throw in China Telecom and China Unicom, and Apple now has the opportunity to have over 1.1 Billion subscribers!

Of course they are not going to get all of these, but still.. this is huge!

Go Apple!
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

....

When China Mobile say they are negotiating "aggressively" this may be literally true as they try to bully Apple to accept. But notwithstanding the fact that they enjoy strong government support, China Mobile will see their best subscriber's haemorrhaging to the other iPhone selling two carriers.

This is a face off between two titans but I think Apple will win.

china mobile actually has many iphones on its network. of course they only support 2g. i heard, but can not confirm, that the main reason ppl uses iphone on china mobile network is that china unicom, the only iphone dealer in china, does not support transferring china mobile phone number over. so any one using iphone on china unicom has to use a new mobile phone number.

well, don't overlook this. many VIP mobile users parked at china mobile long long time back when mobile was still a new thing. so most are reluctant to relinquish that prestigious number. however those VIPs love iphones, thus they have to give up 3g and use wifi at home/work, and stay with china mobile.

if iphone5 can work on china mobile's network, it would be a big sale for apple as those VIPs will dump their existing iphones for a LTE set which can fallback to TD-SCDMA 3g network.

by the way, i doubt apple will support siri in chinese. its server simply can not handle the load:-)
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

Sounds like a tidal wave is coming.

More importantly, Apple will have to start using its capital to subsidize new Factories or outright build several of them to support the global requirements.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

The problem may be that China Mobile is trying to insist on putting its own bloat ware and its own media content ecosystem on the iPhone.

Many carriers have tried to demand this but Apple has consistently refused. Eventually most carriers have to cave in or start losing their most affluent and profitable subscribers to competitors selling the iPhone.

I believe this is what happened with Verizon, who eventually had to cave in and tow the Apple line.

In Japan NTT DoCoMo have also been holding out, trying to monetize their media selling eco-system. They used to be the largest mobile carrier in the world, But no longer. They are now losing their best subscribers and their profits are stagnating, while the competition selling iPhones are growing their earnings fast. This will just get worse and worse for DoCoMo until they face reality and meet Apple's conditions.

When China Mobile say they are negotiating "aggressively" this may be literally true as they try to bully Apple to accept. But notwithstanding the fact that they enjoy strong government support, China Mobile will see their best subscriber's haemorrhaging to the other iPhone selling two carriers.

This is a face off between two titans but I think Apple will win.

Yeah. I think China Mobile needs to adjust their negotiating attitude to something like "passively receptive" from "aggressive".
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secular Investor View Post

The problem may be that China Mobile is trying to insist on putting its own bloat ware and its own media content ecosystem on the iPhone.

Many carriers have tried to demand this but Apple has consistently refused. Eventually most carriers have to cave in or start losing their most affluent and profitable subscribers to competitors selling the iPhone.

I believe this is what happened with Verizon, who eventually had to cave in and tow the Apple line.

In Japan NTT DoCoMo have also been holding out, trying to monetize their media selling eco-system. They used to be the largest mobile carrier in the world, But no longer. They are now losing their best subscribers and their profits are stagnating, while the competition selling iPhones are growing their earnings fast. This will just get worse and worse for DoCoMo until they face reality and meet Apple's conditions.

When China Mobile say they are negotiating "aggressively" this may be literally true as they try to bully Apple to accept. But notwithstanding the fact that they enjoy strong government support, China Mobile will see their best subscriber's haemorrhaging to the other iPhone selling two carriers.

This is a face off between two titans but I think Apple will win.

I agree. This will be Tim Cook's BIG test. I hope he stays the course.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I agree. This will be Tim Cook's BIG test. I hope he stays the course.

As they like to say at Apple, they are in no rush.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

As I recall, China Mobile has been holding out because they want a cut of App Store sales from Apple. You have to keep in mind that China Mobile is partially owned by the Chinese government.... They want kickbacks and gratuities for "the pleasure and privilege of doing business in China".

ALL the carriers in China are state owned enterprises not just China Mobile. China Mobile has felt that it is so big it didn't need the iPhone. On the other hand, the other carriers feel that having the iPhone is a competitive advantage to compete against China Mobile.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by radster360 View Post

This puppy is going to rock! I think Apple is just going to settle out-of-court with Proview and get that nuisance out of the way.

Nonsense. Apple has no reason to settle out of court with Proview. They will win in the next round of court battles - especially since the next proceedings are in Shanghai and not some ignorant lower court. The documentation that has been posted supporting their case is quite clear that they own the trademark outright in China.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

china mobile actually has many iphones on its network. of course they only support 2g. i heard, but can not confirm, that the main reason ppl uses iphone on china mobile network is that china unicom, the only iphone dealer in china, does not support transferring china mobile phone number over. so any one using iphone on china unicom has to use a new mobile phone number.

well, don't overlook this. many VIP mobile users parked at china mobile long long time back when mobile was still a new thing. so most are reluctant to relinquish that prestigious number. however those VIPs love iphones, thus they have to give up 3g and use wifi at home/work, and stay with china mobile.

if iphone5 can work on china mobile's network, it would be a big sale for apple as those VIPs will dump their existing iphones for a LTE set which can fallback to TD-SCDMA 3g network.

by the way, i doubt apple will support siri in chinese. its server simply can not handle the load:-)

You are correct on number portability - however there is none in China on any network and probably never will be as the political interests of China Mobile would prevent it since they operate the homegrown version of the technology. However, at least in Beijing, China Mobile aggressively markets the existing iPhone as they have a ubiquitous wifi network there with an inexpensive citywide wifi package that obviates the need for 3G compatibility on the iPhone.

As to siri, it most certainly is coming to China but the big question is how good it will be as the Chinese language is very difficult to interpret due to the important use of intonations word (the 4 tones or accents) with each tone giving it a different meaning to the same word.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

However, at least in Beijing, China Mobile aggressively markets the existing iPhone as they have a ubiquitous wifi network there with an inexpensive citywide wifi package that obviates the need for 3G compatibility on the iPhone.

I seem to recall that 1% of subscribers are using an iPhone despite not officially sold and only working on their '2G' network.

Quote:
As to siri, it most certainly is coming to China but the big question is how good it will be as the Chinese language is very difficult to interpret due to the important use of intonations word (the 4 tones or accents) with each tone giving it a different meaning to the same word.

What about regional dialects for Nuance and regional variances in meaning for the same spoken word for the natural language understanding? How much of an issue is that for Mandarin in China?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

What about regional dialects for Nuance and regional variances in meaning for the same spoken word for the natural language understanding? How much of an issue is that for Mandarin in China?

I would think that this would be a big a challenge. Even speakers of the "common" Mandarin dialect will have different accents depending on where they're originally from.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

china mobile actually has many iphones on its network. of course they only support 2g. i heard, but can not confirm, that the main reason ppl uses iphone on china mobile network is that china unicom, the only iphone dealer in china, does not support transferring china mobile phone number over. so any one using iphone on china unicom has to use a new mobile phone number.

You are correct - there is no number portability in China. And there probably won't be for a long time.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Actually, I think all 3 carriers are significantly owned by the government.

Yup. True, in fact, of most Chinese companies. Directly or indirectly.
post #27 of 27
Iphone is going huge in China.
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