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China Mobile asking Apple to intentionally cripple iPhones?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
China Mobile is eventually expected to offer the iPhone to mainland China but has requested that Apple deliver a model with Wi-Fi and 3G technology disabled, according to the South China Morning Post.

The paper cited a Daiwa Institute of Research analyst as saying Beijing has not yet approved handsets with such features, and that Apple's iPhone manufacturing partner Foxconn is now waiting for authorization to begin shipping models to China Mobile with the W-CDMA and Wi-Fi chips disabled.

Cellular News (by way of CNet) explains the odd request is a result of competitive concerns. China Mobile is believed to be building its 3G network using the Chinese developed TD-SCDMA format, so it hopes that disabling 3G functionality will deter users from unlocking the device and jumping ship to rival China Telecom, whose network supports W-CDMA.

"Apple shouldn't customise a model of iPhone for the mainland market, given that it only provides a standardised product to operators around the world," Frederick Wong, an analyst with BNP Paribas, told the Post.

For its part, China Mobile is all too familiar with the propensity of consumers to unlock iPhones when given the opportunity. Market research firm In-Stat reported earlier this year that 400,000 unlocked iPhones were loose on the carrier's network, which represented about 10 percent of the units ever produced at the time.

In its report, the Cellular News highlighted the broad market opportunity presented to Apple by the Chinese market. Unlike in the US, where advanced smart phones still cater to a relatively small percentage of users, the market in China is a vast, entertainment-oriented business driven by consumers.

"The main reasons that Chinese mobile users purchase smartphones include entertainment and to access mobile Internet applications," the publication said. With In-Stat estimating that 20 percent of handsets sold in the region cost more than 4,000 RMB (US$533), that adds up to 28 million potential iPhone buyers.
post #2 of 53
Wait, if the iPhone would not work with CM's TD-SCDMA anyway, then what's the problem with this? Of course, the WI-FI block goes to far.
post #3 of 53
So wait, does China mobile get their ideas from Verizon or vice versa?!?!

I suppose they are worried about the speed at which they could find the websites that show their gymnasts are really 14

Ok, fine, so I'll give them the 3G thing (although it's insanely anti-competitive but we are talking about China here) but why the Wi-Fi??
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I suppose they are worried about the speed at which they could find the websites that show their gymnasts are really 14

They want to be sure the overly anxious reports of successful rocket launches can't be downloaded before the rockets are actually launched.

As for Wi-Fi, perhaps government regulations for handsets with Wi-Fi are too onerous or China Mobile has Wi-Fi hotspots that it believes would not be able to keep up with bandwidth demands? Just speculating. It sure would be nice to know what's up with that.
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

They want to be sure the overly anxious reports of successful rocket launches can't be downloaded before the rockets are actually launched.

As for Wi-Fi, perhaps government regulations for handsets with Wi-Fi are too onerous or China Mobile has Wi-Fi hotspots that it believes would not be able to keep up with bandwidth demands? Just speculating. It sure would be nice to know what's up with that.

It's cause they don't want users accessing the internet on their phone without paying for it through their network.
post #6 of 53
Let China wait , give Malaysia iPhone first

Besides, they deserve it, poor babies .
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post #7 of 53
What a shock. Trying to shield them from the real world!
post #8 of 53
Need to tell China to go pound sand.

I remember all that constant talk about how "China never shares revenue"!

Well, ok.

Don't share revenue.

You won't see 400,000 iphones on the network with Wifi..... you'll see 4 million!

Tell China that sharing revenue has it's benefits.
Mouthing off about how they are powerful enough to not have to go for that deal..... ok we got yer Wi-Fi right here!
post #9 of 53
Apple should in no way compromise it's iPhone to grease the wheels of insanity.Make 'em grow up!
Maybe the key to this for Apple will be offering an app that allows wifi internet browsing but kills skype calls etc.
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post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Apple should in no way compromise it's iPhone to grease the wheels of insanity.Make 'em grow up!

Agreed.

Customers would be in a bind traveling outside of China, Especially in Japan where 3G rules.
post #11 of 53
No way don't do it Apple! This just shows the selfishness of Americans. Letting China win with there communist nation. Of course a new lesser version of the iPhone is well appreciated but I would not downgrade the current iPhone for a foreign nation just to make a buck. Do the right thing Apple!

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post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by maclvr03 View Post

What a shock. Trying to shield them from the real world!

For those who want it in China, they can access the same information that the rest of the world can access.

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post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve's son View Post

Of course a new lesser version of the iPhone is well appreciated but I would not downgrade the current iPhone for a foreign nation just to make a buck. Do the right thing Apple!


I think they're gonna call "the right thing" iPhone Nano

Touchscreen phone
iPod
Phone
QWERTY in Landscape.
post #14 of 53
Apple would be downright stupid to agree to something like this. At so many different levels. (Not the least, Yahoo's kow-towing to the Chinese government for fingering an activist's online presence a couple of years ago comes to mind: In my view, that was the beginning of the end of Yahoo).

I seriously doubt that they'll go there.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by HyteProsector View Post

I think they're gonna call "the right thing" iPhone Nano

If so, the Chinese can wait a while.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

For those who want it in China, they can access the same information that the rest of the world can access.

That is simply not true. For insance, just a couple of months ago, when I was there, I could could not access a whole bunch of sites, including something as simple and basic as maps.google.com.
post #17 of 53
I personally care so little about 3G that I recently got a first generation iPhone on eBay. The only thing I'll miss is the GPS, but I wasn't willing to pay for it, so that's that.

In fact, I think Apple should offer a second generation iPhone just like the 3G, with GPS but without 3G, and with a cheaper contract. The TCO of the device would be lower, battery life would be higher, and Apple would save the cost of the 3G chip. I would buy such a phone. Anybody with me?

But, as others have noted, disabling WiFi is going way too far. You'd have to pay for data even in your own home. Hopefully this will be as unacceptable to Apple as it is to us.
post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That is simply not true. For insance, just a couple of months ago, when I was there, I could could not access a whole bunch of sites, including something as simple and basic as maps.google.com.

Can't have the comrades knowing which direction or how close the fence is.
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post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

Can't have the comrades knowing which direction or how close the fence is.

If you sort of think about it, wouldn't any self-respecting police state actually want people to use on-line maps? This would tell them a lot about the places people are interested in or are planning to go to.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

Can't have the comrades knowing which direction or how close the fence is.

Even though I'm not from China or of Chinese descent... I find that slightly insulting. I guess thats just my Socialist leanings speaking up

On topic though, disabling wifi is WAY to far. Don't do it Apple!
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post #21 of 53
Let China wait! Let China wait! Give iPhone 3G to the rest of the world first and China last! No Wi-Fi? Then why would anybody buy the iPhone if its not for the apps and web browsing? Don't do it Apple, China people care less about brands (only a minority care bout brands).
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post #22 of 53
china mobile simply doesn't want the users to use skype or other VoIP programs to harm their already too much revenue.
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post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That is simply not true. For insance, just a couple of months ago, when I was there, I could could not access a whole bunch of sites, including something as simple and basic as maps.google.com.

There are work-arounds for everything.

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post #24 of 53
The hi end Chinese customers are willing to pay $500+ for hi end phones. Apple does not need to cut a deal with China Mobile. They can sell unlocked 3G phones at a premium. Consumers can buy them from any shop and use their own SIM cards... just like they are doing.

Even better would be to upgrade the old 2G phone and add GPS. Sell them unlocked in the Hong Kong market at premium. Merchants will figure out to get the product to mainland markets and distribution.

The global economies are slowing... Apple needs to quit playing these market restrictive games. Have an open architecture and let the product take off!
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mavis
Seriously, the iPhone needed 256MB with the 2.0 software update - 128MB may have been adequate running a handful of Apple apps, but with people now running all kinds of memory-hungry apps while at the same time listening to music, running push/fetch mail in the background, not to mention the SMS and phone apps - 128MB is just not enough any more. I really hope they address this shortcoming in the next iPhone!!

I didn't buy the next iPhone. I purchased the first and the second iPhone.

If Apple is writing code for their next phone then keep it and test it with BETA TESTERS!

I want my iPhone to work as advertised and quit the BS app crashing, quit Safari randomly shutting down and quit suppressing their developers.

Apple isn't a Forum for "Think Different" anymore. It's Apple saying my way or the highway.

Apple Think Different or GOOGLE will eat your lunch and what was supposed to be a rise to the top will crumble like it did last time for the same reasons.

I'm old. I remember.
post #26 of 53
Fortune cookie says...

"NO IPHONE FOR YOU."
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

The hi end Chinese customers are willing to pay $500+ for hi end phones. Apple does not need to cut a deal with China Mobile. They can sell unlocked 3G phones at a premium. Consumers can buy them from any shop and use their own SIM cards... just like they are doing.

Even better would be to upgrade the old 2G phone and add GPS. Sell them unlocked in the Hong Kong market at premium. Merchants will figure out to get the product to mainland markets and distribution.

The global economies are slowing... Apple needs to quit playing these market restrictive games. Have an open architecture and let the product take off!



This is exactly right - and on top of it Apple has been selling the iTouch in China ever since it came out, so there is no real reason for them to ask for the WiFi to be disabled. Plenty of phones have internet access in China - all those high end phones that are priced up there. I take it that this is mostly because Chinese top dogs have no ability to think outside any box.

And, you can add to the list of websites that don't work: Wikipedia and periodically BBC, CNN, Myspace, Facebook, and Yahoo! :-) God - living in China can really be a depressing information drain sometimes.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Even better would be to upgrade the old 2G phone and add GPS. Sell them unlocked in the Hong Kong market at premium. Merchants will figure out to get the product to mainland markets and distribution.

Why not just sell the 3G iPhone unlocked in the Hong Kong market (people can always turn off 3G if they want to)? Wait! They just started doing this: see this article.
post #29 of 53
Ever thought about the fact that your comments and lack of media news is because everytime a user writes anything other than what you want to hear you pull their comments.

MacRumors is far more open (like Google) than you are.

Keep with your Apple/Microsoft Ways and wither away with them and my two iPhones.
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

For those who want it in China, they can access the same information that the rest of the world can access.

Not really.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There are work-arounds for everything.

No, there aren't.

Even if there were, it's illegal there, and only a very few would be able to do it anyway.

The government there doesn't slap you on the wrist for doing what you're not supposed to do. They chain the wrist to the prison wall.
post #32 of 53
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alonso Perez View Post

If you sort of think about it, wouldn't any self-respecting police state actually want people to use on-line maps? This would tell them a lot about the places people are interested in or are planning to go to.

You need to access http://ditu.google.cn in China to get proper maps in China, dunno why that is though. (ditu(地圖) means map)
post #34 of 53
If China Mobile's motive is to stop VOIP, then they can do that themselves in their network, right?
No need to change the phone. At worst, they could negotiate for Apple to ban VOIP 3rd party apps as part of the deal.

I hope Apple don't submit to complicating their product line by accepting these iPhone changes. It is a great strength in terms of quality and support to have a single product line.

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post #35 of 53
Hmm, Im not sure how in the US (do tell me if you all pay full price or most of you all use subsidized phones, extra knowledge is always good ), but here in Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and etc.We have cell providers that provide phone subsidy, but to be honest, majority of us pay full price for the phone. We dont use contracts. I wonder if Apple should change their policy for Asian countries?
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post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There are work-arounds for everything.

work around implies that the access is no free and easy, average joe in china won't be accessing sites that the supreme council doesn't want him to.

If he Does find a work around to access it, theres a fairly strong chance that he would be found out and jailed.... at best.
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post #37 of 53
Hmm, no wifi and 3G. I'll bet it would have great battery life!

It would also, of course, be relatively useless. I can sort of understand the 3G thing, but I would not compromise on the wifi, no way no how.
post #38 of 53
Why is WIFI banned in China?
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavlondon2 View Post

Why is WIFI banned in China?

It's not. Wifi is freely available throughout China - though of course the internet is heavily censored. There are also 3G handsets from all major manufacturers available widely for years now in China and they are unmodified. This story doesn't make any sense. I think somebody has got the wrong end of the stick. Also I bought an iPod Touch here with wifi. (I've lived in Shanghai for nearly 5 years now.)
post #40 of 53
Let consumers decide. If they want to pay for crippled phones, let them. If they don't, they're not worse off than today, anyway.
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