Weaker than expected iPhone 5c sales may trigger China Mobile renegotiation

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2014
Sales of Apple's less-expensive iPhone 5c may be holding up an anticipated China Mobile deal, says KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, but negotiations are likely nearing an end point.

Kuo


According to a research note obtained by AppleInsider, Kuo believes the much-rumored China Mobile partnership will generate 15 to 20 million iPhone unit shipments in 2014, which will jump to 20 to 30 million the year following. The analyst notes, however, that the actual numbers depend on Apple's strategy in midrange and low-end products.

"We believe that weak sales of iPhone 5C may trigger a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile partnership," Kuo writes. "However, the indications are that the deal is nearing an end. While recent market speculation calls for the deal to boost 1Q14 iPhone shipments to 45-50mn units, we think this is overly optimistic."

As such, Kuo maintains his first quarter forecast of 38 million units worldwide.

The analyst's latest surveys indicate that demand for a TD-LTE version of the iPhone 5c, which is compatible with China Mobile's unique 4G network infrastructure, has declined "dramatically" over the past weeks. Subscribers are now focused on the more expensive iPhone 5s, Kuo says.

Due to the swing in demand, Kuo pegs TD-LTE iPhone 5c shipments at 1.0 to 1.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013 and under one million for the first quarter of 2014. This is apparently well below Apple's original production plan and would possibly require a renegotiation with the world's largest wireless provider.

The brokering may be what is holding up an Apple-China Mobile partnership many see as a foregone conclusion. For its part, the telecom acknowledged it is in talks with Apple over the iPhone, but has repeatedly denied rumors of an imminent finalization.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    Uh-huh. Sure. Right. Yep.
  • Reply 2 of 64
    I predict that weakening demand for horse sh... manure is triggering a renegotiation of anyone giving two flips about what these analysts have to say.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    More mindless BS speculation from "analysts" that the rumor sites slap on their front page. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 4 of 64
    I wonder consider Kuo a BS'ing analyst.
  • Reply 5 of 64
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    Amazing. These analysts were foolishly wrong about the 5C, which is a more obvious success every day.

    But instead of embracing the obvious they double down on the ridiculous.

    To analysts:

    5C selling well around the world! Way better than the 4S it replaced!
  • Reply 6 of 64
    adamcadamc Posts: 580member
    I give credit to this guy for predicting products as to sales I doubt he knows what is going on.

    From my view this prolonged negotiation is more of a psychological tactic to get Apple to cave in to whatever demands they are making.
  • Reply 7 of 64
    In China, 5C is never a success and I'm glad to see it wasn't.


    For one reason, it is not that C (cheap) at all. Even if it was, there is no way to compete with China brands' Andriod phone. At a price tag of US$150-200, they can be technically / in specification as compatible as a Samsung S4.

    Going cheap does not work in gaining China market share but the opposite case does....
  • Reply 8 of 64
    He thinks sales are weaker but sticking to his forecast. Isn't that an oxymoron in effect lol.

    Then the story talks about selling more 5s models - why wouldn't that be the headline.

    After being burnt already about speculating on the 5c you would of thought the rumour mill would hold judgement. Perhaps a risky move to attempt credibility.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    You just have to laugh when the numbers for the wild guesses
    are all so specific, like "36,146" for the first entry. If you're
    taking wild guesses like this, why not just call it 36,000?
  • Reply 10 of 64
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    If being the #2 phone in the US is "weak", what does it say about the non-iPhones.
  • Reply 11 of 64
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    peter524 wrote: »
    In China, 5C is never a success and I'm glad to see it wasn't.

    Source?
  • Reply 12 of 64
    jungmark wrote: »
    If being the #2 phone in the US is "weak", what does it say about the non-iPhones.

    "Shipped" :)
  • Reply 13 of 64
    robertsm wrote: »
    I wonder consider Kuo a BS'ing analyst.

    You just made AppleInsider cry.
  • Reply 14 of 64
    All this talk about China Mobile renegotiating plans is just BS speculation on Kuo's part. There has never been any proof that there is a delay because there was never an official announcement when any contract with China Mobile would take place. You can't call something a delay if it's based on a rumor. For all we know, Apple never intended to sign a contract with China Mobile in 2013. This could be due to Apple not having enough iPhone inventory to supply China Mobile as required. DoCoMo in Japan had that problem when they couldn't get enough iPhones and they were seriously pissed off. What would be the point of making an announcement if there are almost no iPhones to sell to consumers?

    It's a shame that Apple can't do anything about this sort of rampant speculation. Apple has far too many analysts following the company and I think they're doing it just to make names for themselves.
  • Reply 15 of 64

    Well that's what you get for releasing crappy plastics fone!  Apple not inovate any more

     

    Samsung Rulz!

  • Reply 16 of 64
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post



    Amazing. These analysts were foolishly wrong about the 5C, which is a more obvious success every day.



    But instead of embracing the obvious they double down on the ridiculous.



    To analysts:



    5C selling well around the world! Way better than the 4S it replaced!

    5C selling well?  That cause all Apple fans are stupid!

     

    Samsung Rulz!

  • Reply 17 of 64

    Buy Samsung Note 3.  It blew away crappy iPhon 5S.  Big screen and stilus make crappy Apple fone look like toy

     

    Samsung Rulz!

  • Reply 18 of 64
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    Does anyone know if the 5C is outselling the 4S when it was second position in the line up last year? If so, it would have to be a success. These analysts are just pissed Apple isn't following the strategy they think it should (move downmarket).
  • Reply 19 of 64
    The 5c may well turn out to have the biggest profit margin in Apple history.
    The launch of its competitor the Motorola G built using a theoretically more expensive quad core and next gen FAB process really shows what underlying profit may be lurking.

    I'm sure China Mobile will accept a bit of profit for itself here.
  • Reply 20 of 64
    Today is Friday, December 21 which just so happens to be a "Triple Witching" day. What is a Triple Witching day you ask -- it is a day when the contracts for stock index futures, stock index options and stock options all expire on the same day. They happen four times a year.

    Get the feeling someone might might like to see Apple to be down today?
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