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China Mobile president confirms ongoing iPhone talks with Apple, deal yet to be reached

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yue Li, president of the world's largest wireless carrier China Mobile, confirmed on Wednesday that the telecom has been in talks with Apple since 2009 to bring the iPhone to its network since, however the two are far from striking a deal.

Yue Li
China Mobile President Li Yue. | Source: China Mobile


In a statement during China Mobile's Worldwide Developers Conference, Li said business-related issues more than technological setbacks are keeping Apple's iPhone off the mobile giant's network, reports SinaTech (via Unwired View).

"We look forward to working hand in hand with Apple," Li said, adding that China Mobile has been in discussions with the iPhone maker since 2009, and was close to reaching a contract last year. That agreement obviously fell through.

Although China Mobile is not an official Apple partner carrier, it was reported in March that some 15 million of the provider's over 700 million subscribers are iPhone users. The draw of Apple's handset is apparently strong enough to overcome the fact that it can't reach 3G data speeds as it is incompatible with the China Mobile's TD-SCDMA network.

Before Apple launched the iPhone 5 in September, rumors claimed the handset would support the obscure network ahead of China's expected 4G LTE integration, however the smartphone offers no such functionality.

If and when a next-generation iPhone is offered through China Mobile, analysts predict the deal to double Apple's presence in the Chinese smartphone market, which could in turn boost AAPL stock some $45.

Apple on Friday announced that Chinese sales of its newest iPhone 5 would kick off on Dec. 14, while China Unicom announced on Tuesday that pre-orders for the device reached over 100,000 in its first day of availability.
post #2 of 8

China Mobile needs to accelerate their implementation of LTE. (TD-LTE) Their clients buy iPhones anyway, even if the cannot take full advantage of the iPhone. Time will tell.

post #3 of 8
What Apple should do is actually lobby the regulators to make it possible to port users' wireless number to a different carrier like what we have in the States. Then China Mobile would beg to carry the iPhone.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mubaili View Post

What Apple should do is actually lobby the regulators to make it possible to port users' wireless number to a different carrier like what we have in the States. Then China Mobile would beg to carry the iPhone.

it can be harder for apple to do it. instead it might be easier for apple to help both china telecom and china unicom to move to FDD LTE faster. it would take another couple of years for china mobile to move to TD LTE because they are not eager to upgrade. china mobile is the big fellow already. apple should not work with them if terms are not pleasant. if unicom and telecom can provide better and faster LTE services than china mobile, iPhone will thrive.

post #5 of 8

Could the difference between Apple and China Mobile be one of security?

The China Gov does like to monitor all voice and data. 
 

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Could the difference between Apple and China Mobile be one of security?

The China Gov does like to monitor all voice and data. 
 

Seeing as Apple already has other products approved for the China market they almost assuredly already allow the Chinese government some monitoring access and control. I suspect this is more about Apple requiring up-front money and/or guarantees of a certain amount of product purchases. 

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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

it can be harder for apple to do it. instead it might be easier for apple to help both china telecom and china unicom to move to FDD LTE faster. it would take another couple of years for china mobile to move to TD LTE because they are not eager to upgrade. china mobile is the big fellow already. apple should not work with them if terms are not pleasant. if unicom and telecom can provide better and faster LTE services than china mobile, iPhone will thrive.

 

I like that idea. Assuming the government would allow it, Apple financing the upgrade/expansion of unicom and telecom's networks, combined with continued iPhone exclusivity on those networks, combined with even more favorable financial terms for apple could be a great deal for everyone (except China Mobile).

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Could the difference between Apple and China Mobile be one of security?

The China Gov does like to monitor all voice and data. 
 

Pure and simple, CM wants a lot of control over various aspects of the product. Apple refuses. Hence the stalemate.

 

Apple should refuse to bend, and simply tell them to get lost.

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