China Mobile support likely to make Apple's next iPhone a 'true world phone'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple's next-generation iPhone is expected to launch in October with support for China Mobile's proprietary 3G network, making it a "true world phone," according to a new report.

In his checks with suppliers, Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee has heard that support for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA 3G network will be a "key feature" of Apple's sixth-generation iPhone. China Mobile is the largest cellular operator in the world, with more than 650 million mobile subscribers.

Wu noted that trials for high-speed 4G long-term evolution networks are currently underway in China, but widespread adoption of LTE is likely to be 2 to 3 years away. In his eyes, strong 3G support is "critical" for the next iPhone to find success with China Mobile.

In addition, Apple is also enhancing support for Chinese-language users with iOS 6, which he thinks will make the iPhone an even more attractive platform for customers in China. With iOS 6, Siri will be able to understand and speak Mandarin and Cantonese, while the software update will also offer easier Chinese character input and integration with popular Internet services like Baidu, Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou.

Beyond enhanced support for China and compatibility with China Mobile, Wu said the next iPhone will feature three key improvements: a new form factor, a slightly larger screen, and a 4G LTE wireless modem.

Siri Local China service


"We believe these new features will likely help drive a significant upgrade and new user cycle more powerful than what we saw with the iPhone 4 and 4S," Wu wrote in a note to investors on Thursday.

He expects the next iPhone won't arrive until October, placing it a full year after the launch of the iPhone 4S. In the meantime, he expects Apple to sell 27 million iPhones in the June quarter, and 25 million in the September quarter, ahead of the launch of the next-generation model.

"This is more of a function of the transition ahead of the upcoming 6th generation iPhone refresh likely in October timeframe as opposed to weak demand," Wu noted.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    therbotherbo Posts: 70member


    You do realise there is already GSM networks in China? So this wont allow you to roam into any more countries, exactly the same that happened between the 4 and 4S. 




    The amount of research that AppleInsider does into mobile technology is incredible (not).

  • Reply 2 of 30
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ...  In addition, Apple is also enhancing support for Chinese-language users with iOS 6, which he thinks will make the iPhone an even more attractive platform for customers in China. With iOS 6, Siri will be able to understand and speak Mandarin and Cantonese, while the software update will also offer easier Chinese character input and integration with popular Internet services like Baidu, Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou. ...


     



     


    I will believe this when I see it.  


     


    Apple went through the Siri language support rather breezily at the WWDC and was seriously vague about what kind of support it was really talking about (languages alone or country support).  Since Siri support is basically non-existent outside of the USA, I find it very hard to believe that magically with the next OS it will support the entire world and pretty much every main language out there including Japanese, Chinese, etc.  


     


    Siri doesn't even understand a mild Canadian accent at this point.  

  • Reply 3 of 30


    Yea, it works with Mandarin (taiwan) and (China), and Cantonese (Hong Kong SAR)


     


    iOS6 has English (canadian), but I can't guarantee it will work with the mild you talk about.

  • Reply 4 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    therbo wrote: »
    You do realise there is already GSM networks in China? So this wont allow you to roam into any more countries, exactly the same that happened between the 4 and 4S. 


    The amount of research that AppleInsider does into mobile technology is incredible (not).
    I'n not sure what your point is. The use of "world mode" even though without TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE it still works in that part of the world via CDMA/CDMA2000/GSM/UTMS. I guess I can see that point but the term is really more about marketing of the baseband. Calling it multiple cellular technology basebands just doesn't have the same ring.

    Even if the next Qualcomm baseband does support TD-SCDMA along with the current technologies there is no guarantee that it will be "world mode" in the way Wu thinks it will. There are plenty of support chips that are needed and there is only a limited number of operating bands that can be used per device. GSM and CDMA/CDMA2000 are easy as there seem to be only 4 and 2, respectively, but UMTS has a lot more than are being used now. Do any of them cross over and be used across UMTS and TD-SCDMA because they are related?

    What's more complex is LTE. Apple uses 3 bands just for the AT&T and Verizon. What are Sprint's (and T-Mobile USA) operating bands? How many LTE operating bands can be used in the next iPhone? It was only 2010 that we say 5 bands for 3GSM networks. There are dozens of LTE bands and what looks like about 10 that are needed to cover the majority of the world's most popular LTE networks.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,499member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I will believe this when I see it.  

    Apple went through the Siri language support rather breezily at the WWDC and was seriously vague about what kind of support it was really talking about (languages alone or country support).  Since Siri support is basically non-existent outside of the USA, I find it very hard to believe that magically with the next OS it will support the entire world and pretty much every main language out there including Japanese, Chinese, etc.  

    Siri doesn't even understand a mild Canadian accent at this point.  

    Siri is similar to map support -- the new feature has a basic structure on the device, but most of the action occurs on Apple's servers. Once the structure is on the device in the apps and in the OS, it can be fleshed out continuously -- by adding capability to Apple's servers.

    Dictated on my iPad
  • Reply 6 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Siri is similar to map support -- the new feature has a basic structure on the device, but most of the action occurs on Apple's servers. Once the structure is on the device in the apps and in the OS, it can be fleshed out continuously -- by adding capability to Apple's servers.
    Dictated on my iPad

    There are two things about Siri that I'm perplexed by. Two things that could allow for an increased usability and understanding without much effort from Apple.

    The first one is using the pronunciation field already part of vCard. This could be tied to your contacts and for anyone that you set up Siri would be able to use this waveform to actually repeat the name back to you correctly when you say "Call <name>". I have what I assume are common US names that are not even close to accurate. This would be stored in your server-side profile and locally, or just the server-side profile which would great help with general comprehension.

    The second thing is more complex as it would require getting linguists involved to create a carefully constructed paragraph that would be a phoneme template that could instantly be applied to your Siri user profile immediately thus reducing the learning curve and hopefully getting the system to understand your accent, dialect, and/or any atypical speech patterns you may have.
  • Reply 7 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,371member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    Siri is similar to map support -- the new feature has a basic structure on the device, but most of the action occurs on Apple's servers. Once the structure is on the device in the apps and in the OS, it can be fleshed out continuously -- by adding capability to Apple's servers.

    Dictated on my iPad


    Does a pause during dictation cause the double-dashes, or was that by intent?

  • Reply 8 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,209member
    Usually, when one mentions a world phone, one is just talking about making phone calls. Data support is additional. But here, supporting China Mobile is critical. There are already 15 million iPhones on their network just using slower data connections. So many in fact, that over a year ago, CM offered a service in cutting down SIMs to support the phones.

    If Apple can get the iPhone to support more than half of the worlds 3G, then it's a world phone. No one else's phones can do much more. Which is why there are so many dang models from other manufacturers.

    If the iPhone can be used in most EU countries, S. America, most of Asia and Africa on 3G, then that's better than most any other model from anyone else.

    It will certainly deserve to be called a world phone.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    therbotherbo Posts: 70member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I'n not sure what your point is. The use of "world mode" even though without TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE it still works in that part of the world via CDMA/CDMA2000/GSM/UTMS. I guess I can see that point but the term is really more about marketing of the baseband. Calling it multiple cellular technology basebands just doesn't have the same ring.

    Even if the next Qualcomm baseband does support TD-SCDMA along with the current technologies there is no guarantee that it will be "world mode" in the way Wu thinks it will. There are plenty of support chips that are needed and there is only a limited number of operating bands that can be used per device. GSM and CDMA/CDMA2000 are easy as there seem to be only 4 and 2, respectively, but UMTS has a lot more than are being used now. Do any of them cross over and be used across UMTS and TD-SCDMA because they are related?

    What's more complex is LTE. Apple uses 3 bands just for the AT&T and Verizon. What are Sprint's (and T-Mobile USA) operating bands? How many LTE operating bands can be used in the next iPhone? It was only 2010 that we say 5 bands for 3GSM networks. There are dozens of LTE bands and what looks like about 10 that are needed to cover the majority of the world's most popular LTE networks.


     


    You only need Quad-Band GSM/UTMS to be a world phone. CDMA/SCDMA roaming dosen't really exist, and the iPhone dosen't support CDMA roaming.




    The "world phone" new feature was just a marketing scheme by Apple, it does not affect the roaming capabilities compared to the 4.


     


    Most the world is using the 800Mhz band for LTE, however world-wide LTE devices will not be compatible with US LTE networks, but thats not surprising since the US deviates from standards.

  • Reply 10 of 30
    therbotherbo Posts: 70member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    Usually, when one mentions a world phone, one is just talking about making phone calls. Data support is additional. But here, supporting China Mobile is critical. There are already 15 million iPhones on their network just using slower data connections. So many in fact, that over a year ago, CM offered a service in cutting down SIMs to support the phones.

    If Apple can get the iPhone to support more than half of the worlds 3G, then it's a world phone. No one else's phones can do much more. Which is why there are so many dang models from other manufacturers.

    If the iPhone can be used in most EU countries, S. America, most of Asia and Africa on 3G, then that's better than most any other model from anyone else.

    It will certainly deserve to be called a world phone.


    The iPhone 4 does support more then half the worlds 3G. Look how many networks are within the quad-band, the majority of them.

  • Reply 11 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    therbo wrote: »
    You only need Quad-Band GSM/UTMS to be a world phone. CDMA/SCDMA roaming dosen't really exist, and the iPhone dosen't support CDMA roaming.


    The "world phone" new feature was just a marketing scheme by Apple, it does not affect the roaming capabilities compared to the 4.

    Most the world is using the 800Mhz band for LTE, however world-wide LTE devices will not be compatible with US LTE networks, but thats not surprising since the US deviates from standards.

    1) Apple didn't invent the marketing term "world mode."

    2) Most of the world is not using "800Mhz".

    3) Simply referring to both an up and downlink frequency band as "800Mhz" means you aren't understanding what is involved. There are specific operating bands that need to be included in the device.

    4) Here's a list of FDD-LTE operating bands.
    5) Here's another list that shows why China Mobile and other carriers can't easily piggyback their TDD-LTE on FDD-LTE.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    therbotherbo Posts: 70member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    1) Apple didn't invent the marketing term "world mode."

    2) Most of the world is not using "800Mhz".

    3) Simply referring to both an up and downlink frequency band as "800Mhz" means you aren't understanding what is involved. There are specific operating bands that need to be included in the device.

    4) Here's a list of FDD-LTE operating bands. 5) Here's another list that shows why China Mobile and other carriers can't easily piggyback their TDD-LTE on FDD-LTE.


    No, the Apple coined the term "world phone" into meaning it had to have two types of connect when it only needs one.


     


    All the large mobile network company's are using 800Mhz (Deutsch Telekom, French Telecom, Vodafone, Telefonica)

  • Reply 13 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,371member


    In reading specs on Samsung's S3 International version, it's looks like they offer about the same as Apple regarding network compatibility. 


     


     



    • 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900


    • 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 

  • Reply 14 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    therbo wrote: »
    No, the Apple coined the term "world phone" into meaning it had to have two types of connect when it only needs one.

    • http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=109742 *

    * Is this where you claim that you are specifically referring to the words "world" and "phone" not "WorldMode" as you are now seeing that it predates the iPhone and is a registered trademark?

    All the large mobile network company's are using 800Mhz (Deutsch Telekom, French Telecom, Vodafone, Telefonica)

    http://www.chinamobileltd.com




    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 15 of 30
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,334member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Therbo View Post


    No, the Apple coined the term "world phone" into meaning it had to have two types of connect when it only needs one.


     


    All the large mobile network company's are using 800Mhz (Deutsch Telekom, French Telecom, Vodafone, Telefonica)





    Not necessary true, the Phase "world phone" pre-date the iphone, Motorola had a world phone which they use that that term on the Motorola Q, it supported GSM and CDMA specificially japan and Korea version of CDMA, so it work in the US and everywhere else on GSM and work in Japan on CDMA. I also believe that the Motorola Droid X also has this feature.


     


    In the case of Apple I am not sure if they are going to support VZ version of CDMA as well as Japan and Korea and China and GSM in one phone. That has yet to be seen. But if they support GSM, LTE and China CDMA that will cover the largest portion of the world where someone might travel.

  • Reply 16 of 30
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    Siri is similar to map support -- the new feature has a basic structure on the device, but most of the action occurs on Apple's servers. Once the structure is on the device in the apps and in the OS, it can be fleshed out continuously -- by adding capability to Apple's servers.

    Dictated on my iPad


     


    I don't like to be a doubting thomas so I can only hope that you are right and that it's a lot easier than it seems to add this support.  


     


    All I know at the moment is that Siri in Canada (for me) is 100% useless.  It doesn't do any of the things that are in the ads and basically is only good for questions that you might look up on Wolfram Alpha.  It also fails to understand even those requests about 50% of the time.  


     


    I tried using Siri dictation several times and for whatever reason, it didn't work even a tiny bit.  I spoke the same sentence about 20 times in succession (pausing between each), speaking normally, slowly, greater and lesser enunciation etc, and it failed miserably every single time.  The sentence was "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," so it's not like it was anything difficult either.  I'm assuming that this has something to do with the language and keyboard settings which often cause problems if you use anything other than the American English stuff.  This has been a historical problem on Mac OS-X so it's probably more of the same on iOS.  


     


    I should add that I have an excellent clear speaking voice and have been on TV a few times as a result of that talent.  I'm not mumbling or mispronouncing anything in the slightest. 


     


    It is frustrating though, it is kind of sloppy and shabby of Apple to constantly ignore these kinds of problems, and it is true that most everything they advertise to do with language doesn't actually work for the non-US population of the world.  I know that someday they will get their act together in this respect, I just hope I'm still alive to see it.  

  • Reply 17 of 30
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I don't like to be a doubting thomas so I can only hope that you are right and that it's a lot easier than it seems to add this support.  

    All I know at the moment is that Siri in Canada (for me) is 100% useless.  It doesn't do any of the things that are in the ads and basically is only good for questions that you might look up on Wolfram Alpha.  It also fails to understand even those requests about 50% of the time.  

    I tried using Siri dictation several times and for whatever reason, it didn't work even a tiny bit.  I spoke the same sentence about 20 times in succession (pausing between each), speaking normally, slowly, greater and lesser enunciation etc, and it failed miserably every single time.  The sentence was "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," so it's not like it was anything difficult either.  I'm assuming that this has something to do with the language and keyboard settings which often cause problems if you use anything other than the American English stuff.  This has been a historical problem on Mac OS-X so it's probably more of the same on iOS.  

    I should add that I have an excellent clear speaking voice and have been on TV a few times as a result of that talent.  I'm not mumbling or mispronouncing anything in the slightest. 

    It is frustrating though, it is kind of sloppy and shabby of Apple to constantly ignore these kinds of problems, and it is true that most everything they advertise to do with language doesn't actually work for the non-US population of the world.  I know that someday they will get their act together in this respect, I just hope I'm still alive to see it.  

    What are your settings and what is your first first language, what you describe as your dialect, do you have any speech variances that could hinder Siri's ability to comprehend your English such as being a 1st generation native English speaker in a household that speaks a heavily accented English?
  • Reply 18 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,209member
    therbo wrote: »
    You only need Quad-Band GSM/UTMS to be a world phone. CDMA/SCDMA roaming dosen't really exist, and the iPhone dosen't support CDMA roaming.


    The "world phone" new feature was just a marketing scheme by Apple, it does not affect the roaming capabilities compared to the 4.

    Most the world is using the 800Mhz band for LTE, however world-wide LTE devices will not be compatible with US LTE networks, but thats not surprising since the US deviates from standards.

    That's not quite true. There are a host of frequencies being considered by various countries. None are "standard". And as the US has and is having major deployments before any other major country, perhaps what is done here should be considered as "standard", and everyone else should be following.

    The real problem is that different countries have allocated spectrum for other uses, and that leaves whatever is left for this. That's why we see so many different frequencies in use.

    And, of course, what China Mobile is using isn't "standard" at all.
  • Reply 19 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,209member
    therbo wrote: »
    The iPhone 4 does support more then half the worlds 3G. Look how many networks are within the quad-band, the majority of them.

    That's what I was saying.
  • Reply 20 of 30
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,209member
    therbo wrote: »
    No, the Apple coined the term "world phone" into meaning it had to have two types of connect when it only needs one.

    All the large mobile network company's are using 800Mhz (Deutsch Telekom, French Telecom, Vodafone, Telefonica)

    http://www.timeatlas.com/cell_phones/prospect/defining_a_world_phone

    Apple most certainly had nothing to do with the definition of world phone in any way, either in the way they mean it or in any other. In fact, the term is old.

    http://connectedplanetonline.com/wireless/mag/wireless_gsms_world_phone/
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