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Apple's iPhone drives China Mobile 4G adoption, but carrier mum on actual sales numbers

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Most of the 1.34 million subscribers on China Mobile's nascent 4G TD-LTE network are using iPhones, the company said on Thursday, but investors hoping for a more detailed breakdown will be left disappointed as the carrier declined to elaborate further.

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"We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users," China Mobile chairman Xi Gouhua said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. February was the first full month in which the iPhone was officially available on China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier.

While many have pointed to that figure as a representation of the iPhone's overall sales performance since the handset's debut on China Mobile, it may not tell the whole story.

Customers outside of the carrier's 4G footprint -- which covers fewer than 20 of the more than 160 cities in China with over 1 million inhabitants -- must either purchase the device outright or with a 3G contract. China Mobile added 14 million 3G customers in January and 10 million in February.

iPhones compatible with China Mobile's network are also sold without a contract at Apple retail stores and third-party outlets throughout the mainland and Hong Kong. Many Chinese consumers, especially those from the populous and geographically adjacent Guangdong province, travel to Hong Kong to purchase electronics thanks to the semiautonomous region's favorable tax rates, which can result in a savings of more than $100.

If the 4G numbers do represent the bulk of Apple's iPhone sales on China Mobile, they would fall short of analyst expectations that ran as high as 5 million units per quarter. There are already as many as 30 million previous-generation iPhones on China Mobile's network, however, and sales numbers are likely to increase as those subscribers reach their next upgrade cycle.
post #2 of 14

Rest assured, that, whatever the numbers are, Analysts will be disappointed.

 

When your goal is to be disappointed,  you generally succeed.

post #3 of 14

Note to investors. You’ve known or should know how Apple operates for decades. It’s not like other  corporations. If you can’t deal with it get out of the stock. Easier to take it private then.

post #4 of 14
What about the Blackberry, Galaxy S4 and other Android devices that were supposed to be working on China Mobile%u2019s 4G. Where are they? Why are "most" CM 4G phones iPhones?
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

Rest assured, that, whatever the numbers are, Analysts will be disappointed.

When your goal is to be disappointed,  you generally succeed.

I fully agree with you!

Analysts were ready to pounce this morning but were forced to go in a different direction.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

Where are they? Why are "most" CM 4G phones iPhones?

Rhetorical questions are effective.

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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Rhetorical questions are effective.

 

Are they?

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrections View Post

What about the Blackberry, Galaxy S4 and other Android devices that were supposed to be working on China Mobile%u2019s 4G. Where are they? Why are "most" CM 4G phones iPhones?

I can't find where the 4G-LTE versions of the S4 have already made their way to China Mobile. I can find where they were supposedly approved at the very end of November but no indication of when they were made available for sale. . Maybe you have a link showing when they actually began selling on China Mobile, or what other Android models are available whether Google Android or Chinese derivatives/forks. There may not be more than a very few. I can't find them in an admittedly brief search.

Then again perhaps Samsung's S4 has been on sale there for a couple of months and those most anxious for it already bought them leaving the iPhone as the new kid last month and so getting the most attention. I wouldn't be surprised to find we have someone from China as a member here who might have more information on it.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Galaxy-S4-and-Galaxy-Note-3-Approved-for-China-Mobile-s-TD-LTE-Network-404406.shtml
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/20/14 at 11:57am
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #9 of 14

Read the chairman's quote: - he was saying February sales, not January.

 

Key was the buying for January short period phone on sale -that is when the Chinese 2 week holiday is devoted to spending money / gifts

 

would sales be great here in January (after Christmas) - NO  - WHY WOULD THEY IN CHINA?

post #10 of 14
I think the estimate for overall sales should be relatively straight forward. Assuming the market share before China Mobile launch can be used to project it. Market share with just Telecom and Unicom had increased to the 12 percent level in Q413. An overall market share of 12 percent with CM not participating implies that roughly 25 percent of Chinese prefer and can afford the iPhone. Lets use 20 percent to be conservative. So with 14 million 3G phones in January, and 10 in February this gives overall 24 million or about 5 million of the 3G customers taking iPhones. Add to this the 1 million estimate for 4g and you end up at about 3 million per month. I guess that is an initial spike that will likely settle at something like 2 million per month or roughly 25 million iPhones annually.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
 "We added 1.34 million new 4G users in February and most of them are iPhone users," China Mobile chairman Xi Gouhua said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. February was the first full month in which the iPhone was officially available on China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier.

 

 

I think that he is telling us that more than 670,000 iPhones have been sold due to Apple's deal with them.  Why is there any question?

 

I don't think Apple really cares if its customers buy from China Mobile or elsewhere.  In fact, Apple likes it best when customers buy directly, either at the Apple Store or Online.

post #12 of 14
The take-away from the number is that Apple is taking 75% market share at high end in china.
post #13 of 14

 

I think only Apple fans believe many Chinese people are suckers who are willing to pay extremely over the top price for iphones which have inferior specs than most other phones costing less than half the price.  Keep dreaming.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post
 

 

 

I think that he is telling us that more than 670,000 iPhones have been sold due to Apple's deal with them.  Why is there any question?

Does most mean majority or just a plurality? That is a question.

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