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China Mobile may postpone iPhone launch to complete TDD-LTE network

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, China Mobile will introduce Apple's iPhone to its 700 million subscribers by the end of the year, but the world's largest telecom first needs to finish rolling out its TDD-LTE network, a task that could delay the phone's launch until November.

China Mobile


Rumors of a China Mobile iPhone were reignited on Friday after a Wall Street Journal report cited sources as saying Apple is preparing "iPhone 5C" shipments for the communications giant.

It was subsequently reported that versions of the iPhone compatible with common FDD-LTE networks would be released first, while models compatible with TDD-LTE networks, like China Mobile, could be delayed to November due to regulatory approval processes.

In a note to investors, Kuo said he expects Apple to announce both FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE versions of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at an event scheduled for Sept. 10. Regardless of approval from state communications entities, the analyst notes China Mobile has not yet properly prepared its 4G network, meaning a launch could take one to two months.

"As China Mobile hopes to use iPhone 5S as the flagship model for promoting its TDD-LTE network, it would come as no surprise if the TDD-LTE version of iPhone 5S launches before iPhone 5C," Kuo said.

A deal with China Mobile is seen by many as Apple's next step in the burgeoning Chinese smartphone market. Some believe Apple has tailored its iPhone offerings, like the rumored iPhone 5C, to meet the needs of Chinese consumers. Even the high-end iPhone 5S will supposedly be offered in a color described as "champagne" to suit the tastes of Chinese customers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has on multiple occasions met with China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua to hammer out a deal, though an official agreement has yet to be announced.

Reports from as late as August claimed the two companies were still in talks, with Xi saying his company must resolve "commercial and technology issues" with Apple, and that those matters "need time."
post #2 of 24
I feel I've been cheated here, because Ming-Chi Kuo has been mentioned without the ubiquitous 'well connected analyst' epithet being used. What if I had not read the other article, what if I was new to the world of Apple rumours, I would not be aware of Ming-Chi Kuo's 'well connected' status. Lets hope this is a one off error.
post #3 of 24
All things in time. Might as well wait for the new network technology if it's almost ready.

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post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

I feel I've been cheated here, because Ming-Chi Kuo has been mentioned without the ubiquitous 'well connected analyst' epithet being used. What if I had not read the other article, what if I was new to the world of Apple rumours, I would not be aware of Ming-Chi Kuo's 'well connected' status. Lets hope this is a one off error.

 

:D

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, my opinion, man.
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post #5 of 24

700 million subsscribers? Holy ****. That should pad Apple's #s just a tad. If 20% of subscribers get an iPhone (not a huge stretch), that's like 150,000,000 extra units. 

post #6 of 24
1.  Bottom line, there is a deal. 
2.  If the network is partially available, they should start the limited deployment.
3.  NTT Docomo + China Mobile + India efforts should strengthen penetration in Asia.
4.  A low end and an advanced iPhone model should cover the user spectrum.
5.  Unique advanced features such as new UI, SIRI, AppleMaps, home button and in display fingerprint, should differentiate iOS 7.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

700 million subsscribers? Holy ****. That should pad Apple's #s just a tad. If 20% of subscribers get an iPhone (not a huge stretch), that's like 150,000,000 extra units. 

Add Docomo to that. Once Apple and Russia make love again, that's another few millions.

Then we have the 5C.

 

Market share (without going to extremes) means almost nothing, but Apple will only go up and up and up.

post #8 of 24
Never mind , iPhone have downward compatibility , can't use TD- LTE , can use 2g , 3G . No need to delay launch .
post #9 of 24
Many remote parts of the USA I still see "E" on my iPhone as the data transport, and in the UK, I believe 4G has still yet to be rolled out on a national basis (?) ... I dont beleive that has stopped any iPhone rollout?
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post


There will not be some half-baked software-based fingerprint scanning. This is an iPhone, not an imitation android device.

The fingerprint sensor is part of the home button, and extremely sophisticated and hardware-based integration.
post #11 of 24
An unannounced deal that may or may not happen at some point in the future, and if/when it does, offers us no idea about what its details will or won't be, has now been postponed?

Now, that's what I call a third-derivative rumor.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_mac_lover View Post

Never mind , iPhone have downward compatibility , can't use TD- LTE , can use 2g , 3G . No need to delay launch .

 

China Mobile does not support standard 2G and 3G.

The use their home grown TD-SCDMA which Apple does not support.

post #13 of 24

I'm hoping this doesn't put a damper on iPhone launch sales in China on the other 2 carriers. 

 

Hopefully this rumor isn't true and the 5C will be compatible with China Mobile's entire spectrum so that it can launch promptly Sept 20.

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_mac_lover View Post

Never mind , iPhone have downward compatibility , can't use TD- LTE , can use 2g , 3G . No need to delay launch .

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

China Mobile does not support standard 2G and 3G.
The use their home grown TD-SCDMA which Apple does not support.

Exactly. And the issue is that baseband chips can only support so many frequencies, so they can't simply support all possible networks.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post
 

700 million subsscribers? Holy ****. That should pad Apple's #s just a tad. If 20% of subscribers get an iPhone (not a huge stretch), that's like 150,000,000 extra units. 

 

Haven't you heard? Apple has failed miserably in China. It's all over but reading the fortune cookies. The Chinese like BIG screens and have rejected Apple's non-innovating, boring, same-old same-old iPhone¡

post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a note to investors, Kuo said he expects Apple to announce both FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE versions of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at an event scheduled for Sept. 10.

Would Apple release two models of both the 5S and the 5C. If they intergrate Qualcomm's new RF360 baseband chip, doesn't that give them worldwide compatibility?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ombra2105 View Post


Would Apple release two models of both the 5S and the 5C. If they intergrate Qualcomm's new RF360 baseband chip, doesn't that give them worldwide compatibility?

That's the plan, if the qualcomm chip tests out as compatable with TD-SCDMA.  If it didn't then China Mobile may 'require' a separate compatible chipset.

 

There is the other part of the delay... some regulatory agencies (can't speak to china and it's governmental/corporate/graft relationships) require a 'production run' device  to be tested out prior to okaying it, it it has new components not yet tested in country.  That may take a couple months, and it may have only started a couple weeks ago.  

 

It stands to reason that building out the net is the reason for delay... much like LTE didn't come to the 4s even though LTE 'was on the plan' for ATT.   And that delay may be Apple's requirement...that it has to have X% of the coverage/population map in the LTE zone for maximum consumer experience.   

post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post
 

I'm hoping this doesn't put a damper on iPhone launch sales in China on the other 2 carriers. 

 

Hopefully this rumor isn't true and the 5C will be compatible with China Mobile's entire spectrum so that it can launch promptly Sept 20.

 

It's a blessing in disguise....iPhone 5S & 5C will launch on China Mobile, but not on September 20th. However, Apple DOES plan to announce immediate available to their other China partners (hence the event being held in China 10 hours after the U.S. event). 

 

It is a big deal to have launch-day availability in China, period. It is a big deal to have devices equally suited to the Chinese market as the U.S. market (in the form of two tiers). 

 

China Mobile is a whole other animal, and I don't think we're going to see confirmation of it on Sept. 10th.

post #19 of 24
Bloomberg suggests this is mostly about money. While Apple has traditionally dictated the terms for iPhone carriers it's China Mobile holding the upper hand this time and pressuring Apple to come around to their way of thinking.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-05/apple-s-falling-china-share-complicates-iphone-deal.html
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #20 of 24

This same news was already out earlier in the week that China Mobile will carry iPhone in November.  Anal-Ming is all over the place on Apple news. Postpone? When did Apple or China Mobile release the date???

 

What is more important is that new iPhones which are about to be released next week are compatible with China Mobile network. Rest is noise!!!

post #21 of 24

No company would give up sales to a competitor for an entire quarter because the network wasn't quite everywhere yet. They would announce that they had a TDD-LTE network, because they do, but once you were in the store with the shiny new iPhone 5S in your had they would tell you the network wasn't in your area yet... but would be before the end of the year. You'd buy the phone and go home happy knowing in a couple months the network would be ready.

 

How many people purchased 3G or LTE phones in the States and waited for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to upgrade the towers in their town? Too many to count.

NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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NOTICE: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, fahlman cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated,...
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post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post


There will not be some half-baked software-based fingerprint scanning. This is an iPhone, not an imitation android device.

The fingerprint sensor is part of the home button, and extremely sophisticated and hardware-based integration.

 

Well, a user may have to re-authenticate for a specific financial application after login in with the home button.  Pressing the home button again would exit the application.  This is where in-display fingerprinting can be used to authorize an separate transaction.  Just because you are logged on to a device does not mean you can do everything.  (Think parental control )  You may be allowed to turn on and use a device but not allowed to authorize payments using the device.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/07/18/apple-details-in-display-fingerprint-sensor-tech-in-patent-filing-from-authentec-cofounder

 

Time will tell. 

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fahlman View Post

No company would give up sales to a competitor for an entire quarter because the network wasn't quite everywhere yet. They would announce that they had a TDD-LTE network, because they do, but once you were in the store with the shiny new iPhone 5S in your had they would tell you the network wasn't in your area yet... but would be before the end of the year. You'd buy the phone and go home happy knowing in a couple months the network would be ready.

How many people purchased 3G or LTE phones in the States and waited for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to upgrade the towers in their town? Too many to count.

There's a world of difference.

In the case of US phones, if you buy an LTE phone and you happen to be in an area without LTE service, it still works - on 3G or even 2G networks which cover the entire country. In the case of China Mobile, if you have a phone that only works with TDD-LTE and you live in (or travel to) an area without TDD-LTE, you may not have service at all.

If they are able to fall back to the slower network, then your argument might make sense, but there's no evidence that they'd be able to do that - since the earlier network isn't supported, either.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #24 of 24

I have an inkling this will be Apple's most popular iPhone launch to date.

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