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China Unicom confirms iPhone talks with Apple

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bolstering reports from last month, the chairman of China Unicom has confirmed negotiations with Apple to bring the iPhone 3G to China, but so far there's no indication that a deal is close to fruition.

Chairman Chang Xiaobing told reporters that China Unicom is in talks with Apple, according to Reuters.

"We are in talks with many handset suppliers, including Apple," he said.

Late last month a British consulting firm suggested Apple may have already reached an agreement with the carrier, which is in the process of rolling out a new 3G network. Chang predicts 20 percent of all mobile phone users in China will be on 3G in the next three years.

Early last month, rival China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou said his company has had three rounds of negotiations with the iPhone maker break down, most recently over China Mobile's insistence on co-management of the App Store, which is typically under Apple's sole control.

Wang said his company will continue to talk with Apple while declining to comment on any discussions between his rival China Unicom and the Cupertino-based iPhone maker.

Analysts who spoke to Reuters said iPhone knockoffs are available without long-term contracts in China, leading them to believe a deal to sell the smartphones there may not be a strong earnings catalyst. They added that the Apple brand doesn't enjoy the same positive status as it does elsewhere in global markets.

"iPhone is likely to be highly subsidized and China Unicom may give away large revenue share so earnings upside is possibly limited, in our view," the JP Morgan analysts wrote. "We think this is a reason why China Mobile has refused to sign with Apple to date."

Government-sponsored China Mobile is the largest mobile phone operator by subscriber count in the world with at least 415 million customers. China Unicom, meanwhile has 168 million customers, with 125 million on a GSM network and the rest on CDMA.
post #2 of 20
I think CHL has the right idea. They definitely don't need Apple.

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post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I think CHL has the right idea. They definitely don't need Apple.

Yeah, when both sides are negotiating from a percieved position of stregnth, negotiations don't usually go far.
But who is CHL?
Is that China Unicom or China Mobile? The implications from this article are that China Unicom is the minor player in the Chinese market, so they could use something to differentiate their services and grow their subscriber base.

But I agree with you, either way, Apple has more to loose--it has very little presence in China and aparently little name recognition. In the long run, this could cost them dearly. I'm sure they are hungry to be players in China... Are they hungry enough to give up some control of the App Store?
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #4 of 20
It appears that one benefit for Apple with China Unicom is they are (mostly) a GSM carrier, so in theory Apple won't have to engineer an entirely different phone for that market. But for future reference, does anyone know of a chart that indicates which Chinese carrier runs which network technology, not only for voice but also data?
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Yeah, when both sides are negotiating from a percieved position of stregnth, negotiations don't usually go far.
But who is CHL?
Is that China Unicom or China Mobile?

CHL == CHINA UNICOM. L is short for LianTong, pinyin spelling for unicom chinese character.
post #6 of 20
I thought china already had more advanced cellphone networks in alot of places. Like 4G and other frequency types we didnt have here
post #7 of 20
This is exciting for Apple because it's critically important for them to do business with Communists. What an opportunity.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post

CHL == CHINA UNICOM. L is short for LianTong, pinyin spelling for unicom chinese character.

No, here are the symbols:

CHL = China Mobile

CHU = China Unicom

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post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyokuro View Post

This is exciting for Apple because it's critically important for them to do business with Communists. What an opportunity.

"Business" is the part that's important.

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post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

"Business" is the part that's important.

Ah, they already own us (our debt) anyway, as well as manufacture most of the phone's parts. Nothing to see here. Move along.
\
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyokuro View Post

Ah, they already own us (our debt) anyway, as well as manufacture most of the phone's parts. Nothing to see here. Move along.
\

US debt is different from Apple's position. They are doing, much, much, much better.

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post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

US debt is different from Apple's position. They are doing, much, much, much better.

post #13 of 20
Am I the only one who thought it said "China Unicorn"?
post #14 of 20
Typical of the Chinese. They are interested but want to squeeze every drop of blood from the deal. They are be completely emotionless about it too.

I know this cos I'm Chinese - hehe
dreamery
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post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

Am I the only one who thought it said "China Unicorn"?

newp.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyokuro View Post

This is exciting for Apple because it's critically important for them to do business with Communists. What an opportunity.

I find it ironic, that for a short period in 2007, a company started by communists was the world's largest company and the first to be valued at over $1 trillion.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/50373...argest-company

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post #17 of 20
I gotta lift my hat up to the Chinese in China. But one has to understand, they are no different to the modern concept of survival today. It's who you know that matters. Not what you know.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I find it ironic, that for a short period in 2007, a company started by communists was the world's largest company and the first to be valued at over $1 trillion.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/50373...argest-company

dreamery
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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamery View Post

Typical of the Chinese. They are interested but want to squeeze every drop of blood from the deal. They are be completely emotionless about it too.

I know this cos I'm Chinese - hehe

Chinese are good negotiators and tend to work in teams to spread the final responsibility of the decision-making, which can drive anyone not familiar with these tactics absolutely crazy. I've been in quite a few marathon shouting matches with vendors (mind you, I didn't find a need to do any shouting)...

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post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamery View Post

I gotta lift my hat up to the Chinese in China. But one has to understand, they are no different to the modern concept of survival today. It's who you know that matters. Not what you know.

It helps if the "who" is a member of the Party and is receiving kickbacks.

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post #20 of 20
Well, the Chinese market has been pretty overheated. Was it really worth a $Trillion?
Maybe, but I doubt it. I'll keep my money invested in countries that have more of a tradition of "rule of law." Easier to sleep at night (and in this market that's not that much easier.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

I find it ironic, that for a short period in 2007, a company started by communists was the world's largest company and the first to be valued at over $1 trillion.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/50373...argest-company

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