Apple CEO Tim Cook met with head of China Mobile to again discuss potential deal

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Tim Cook's trip to China included a visit with the head of the largest carrier in the world, China Mobile, as Apple's chief executive continues to work toward a potential partnership.

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Apple is rumored to launch a new plastic iPhone this year.


The meeting between Cook and China Mobile Chairman Xi Guohua took place in Beijing, and was confirmed by the carrier to Reuters. The two sides met to discuss "matters of cooperation," but no other details were provided.

Industry watchers have been awaiting a potential deal between Apple and China Mobile for some time. Cook most recently met with China Mobile in January, but the carrier still has yet to offer the iPhone.

Currently, the iPhone is available on carriers China Unicom and China Telecom. China Mobile was said to have 15 million unofficial iPhone users on its network as of March of 2012.

China Mobile hosts a whopping 715 million subscribers, but only about 13 percent of those are on high-speed 3G networks. The carrier hopes to rectify that by investing $6.7 billion to build out its 4G technology, while it's been speculated that Qualcomm's latest LTE chips could allow Apple to have true global high-speed data support for carriers like China Mobile with its next iPhone update.

On his current trip to China, Cook also met with carrier China Telecom, it was revealed earlier this week. With Apple rumored to be planning to release a new entry-level plastic iPhone in the coming months, observers have speculated that device could have been a key point of discussion between the two companies.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    techguy911techguy911 Posts: 267member


    It's a standoff of who will cave first.  Will Apple let China Mobile have their way and brand the phone physically and with software just to get the extra sales or will China Mobile let Apple control what's on the phone.

  • Reply 2 of 27
    mir808mir808 Posts: 12member
    This deal will give iPhone a carrier advantage in China and will probably keep Samsung and other Android manufacturers at bay.
  • Reply 3 of 27
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Ah! So the "C" in iPhone 5c stands for China Mobile! A phone JUST for you. That's why Cook recently when to China...
  • Reply 4 of 27
    mir808mir808 Posts: 12member
    techguy911 wrote: »
    It's a standoff of who will cave first.  Will Apple let China Mobile have their way and brand the phone physically and with software just to get the extra sales or will China Mobile let Apple control what's on the phone.
    Apple will never let any carrier mess with iOS because if they do allow one then others will start asking for similar deals it's just not how Apple works.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,587member
    If/when CM happens, it'll probably be bigger for Apple's earnings than the iWatch, iDashboard, and iTV combined.

    Given that this dance has been going on for at least four years now with no visible movement forward, I am getting less and less hopeful.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mir808 View Post



    Apple will never let any carrier mess with iOS because if they do allow one then others will start asking for similar deals it's just not how Apple works.


     


    In the old days, a company would usually spin off a different brandname for cases like this.


     


    That way, they could have both premium and non-premium models, which were often similar underneath. 


     


    Like Cadillac/Chevrolet.  Lincoln/Ford.   Or how people viewed Panasonic equipment as superior to Radio Shack gear, even though they were the same boards inside.   Or all the competing breakfast cereal brands that are actually owned by the same conglomerate.  So many examples out there.


     


    In this case, the subbrand could have carrier customization, without destroying the premium line.


     


    Perhaps Apple could sell the lower priced stuff under the "Pear" brand like on Nick :)

  • Reply 7 of 27
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mir808 View Post





    Apple will never let any carrier mess with iOS because if they do allow one then others will start asking for similar deals it's just not how Apple works.


     


    They could allowed carriers to have a folder of apps on the first page. No big deal imo and it could actually be usefull. Apple just have to limit it to one folder and a giving maximum amount of mb of space. They could also allow to have carriers specific background image by defaults.  All those things can be easely changed by the user once he gets is phone.


     


    Like I said before, I dont like how Apple is handling the carriers...

  • Reply 8 of 27
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post



    If/when CM happens, it'll probably be bigger for Apple's earnings than the iWatch, iDashboard, and iTV combined.



    Given that this dance has been going on for at least four years now with no visible movement forward, I am getting less and less hopeful.


     


    imo it was block by the carriers tech. Should be solved now with new phones. Its the same thing here, some carriers are using 4g towers that are incompatible with the iphone and force it to fall back to 3g or even 2g

  • Reply 9 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    herbapou wrote: »
    They could allowed carriers to have a folder of apps on the first page. No big deal imo and it could actually be usefull. Apple just have to limit it to one folder and a giving maximum amount of mb of space. Like I said before, I dont like how Apple is handling the carriers...
    Hmm...that's the last thing I want on my phone. I want my carrier to be just like my ISP. Basically invisible.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,201member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Hmm...that's the last thing I want on my phone. I want my carrier to be just like my ISP. Basically invisible.


     


    I understand some people wants that. You can then just delete the folder or move it to the last page. imo everyone should at least keep the app that gives youre usage and billing information.

  • Reply 11 of 27
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,340member
    techguy911 wrote: »
    It's a standoff of who will cave first.

    China Mobile.
    Will Apple let China Mobile have their way and brand the phone physically and with software just to get the extra sales or will China Mobile let Apple control what's on the phone.

    Does the Pope dress in a bear suit and in the middle of St. Peter's Basilica… wait…
  • Reply 12 of 27
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    herbapou wrote: »
    I understand some people wants that. You can then just delete the folder or move it to the last page. imo everyone should at least keep the app that gives youre usage and billing information.
    But I don't want carrier apps pre installed on my phone. Put it in the AppStore and let me download it if I want. One of the reasons I chose iPhone is because Apple doesn't bend over for the carriers the way Motorola and other Android OEM's do.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    herbapou wrote: »
    imo it was block by the carriers tech. Should be solved now with new phones. Its the same thing here, some carriers are using 4g towers that are incompatible with the iphone and force it to fall back to 3g or even 2g
    That's what I was thinking, I was also thinking iOS may be a little too private for China's government's comfort zone
  • Reply 14 of 27
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,340member
    That's what I was thinking, I was also thinking iOS may be a little too private for China's government's comfort zone

    Then why is the iPhone already on all the other Chinese carriers?
  • Reply 15 of 27
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    China likes the labour foreigners provide, but not the profits they take out from the economy. China will invest its profits wherever safe returns and resources are assured or needed.

    Indian labour might be more appreciated from a country more in thinking with the economies of the west.
  • Reply 16 of 27
    kumarkumar Posts: 3member
  • Reply 17 of 27
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    But I don't want carrier apps pre installed on my phone. Put it in the AppStore and let me download it if I want. One of the reasons I chose iPhone is because Apple doesn't bend over for the carriers the way Motorola and other Android OEM's do.


     


    Everybody bends over the carriers in one way or another.


     


    Apple crippled iPhones for years by bending over to AT&T's desires to keep high bandwidth apps off 3G, and locking them to WiFi only.


     


    As for carrier installed apps, I don't care as long as I can keep them off my homescreen, or from running in the background... and they don't take up too much room.

  • Reply 18 of 27
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,242member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post... imo everyone should at least keep the app that gives youre usage and billing information.


     


    Yeah, for me it's called the myAT&T app I downloaded from the app store.

  • Reply 19 of 27
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,242member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    One of the reasons I chose iPhone is because Apple doesn't bend over for the carriers the way Motorola and other Android OEM's do.


     


    Bingo! Definitely was a factor in my decision. When I was with Verizon, my phones (Blackberry, etc.) prior to the iPhone were all loaded with their crap bloatware.

  • Reply 20 of 27
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    Preinstalled apps is probably not the biggest hurdle for the deal.

    Honestly if their app is on the App Store China Mobile employees can make downloading it part of the activation process at the Store which some US carriers already do.

    The issues probably have to do with subsidies and profits etc. The iPhone is already on the other carriers so it's not a China issue.

    I assume China Mobile will be more interested in adding the iPhone with the low cost model available. That means a lower subsidy on their end and the potential for increase sales. Pretty much a win win for China Mobile, and I'm sure Tim Cook knew this was the last remaing piece of the China puzzle.
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