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China Mobile Chairman 'Positive' About Reaching iPhone Deal with Apple as iPhone 5S/5C Launch Nears

china_mobile_logo copyReuters reports that recent talks between China Mobile and Apple have been progressing smoothly and that the two sides are positive about reaching an possible agreement, according to the company's chairman Xi Guohua. Mr Xi told Reuters that "both sides sounded keen" during recent talks, which have been ongoing since the start of 2011.

Of the three Chinese carriers, China Mobile is the only one to utilize TD-SCDMA technology, a standard developed by the company and not supported by any current iPhone model. The carrier has also been reluctant to commit to the huge cost of marketing and handset subsidies associated with the iPhone. But new chips from Qualcomm now give Apple an opportunity to support China Mobile's network in its upcoming hardware.
Apple is expected to unveil its redesigned iPhone next month and may also release a cheaper, emerging market smartphone. Crucially, it also now has Qualcomm Inc chips that can operate even on China's obscure networks. At the same time, Beijing is expected to grant 4G licenses by the year-end that favor the biggest of its domestic mobile operators.

Apple has so far ducked a deal with China Mobile as this would have required a redesign inside the iPhone to work on the operator's inferior TD-SCDMA 3G technology. For its part, China Mobile has been reluctant to commit to the huge cost of marketing and subsidizing sales of the expensive iPhone.
Beijing is looking to expand 4G networks within China by the end of the year and the licenses are expected to be based on TD-LTE technology, as supposed to the more widely-used FDD-LTE, both of which the new Qualcomm chips expected to be used in the upcoming iPhone 5C and 5S models support.

The report comes after China Mobile, the world's largest mobile network in terms of subscribers, posted healthy Q2 profits that beat the analyst expectations. Net income rose to CNY 35.2 billion ($5.8 billion) for the second quarter from CNY 34.4 billion ($5.62 billion) a year earlier, which surpassed the CNY 33.9 billion average of four analyst expectations, as reported by Bloomberg.

Although a date has yet to be confirmed by Apple, many sources confirm that new iPhone models will be announced on September 10. Recent leaks have provided strong evidence that Apple is developing a lower-cost smartphone, perhaps dubbed the "5C" for developing markets. And with chip technology now allowing Apple to more easily support China Mobile's network, the opportunity is ripe for the company to make a push on the world's largest carrier.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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14 months ago

Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


Dream on, newbie :D

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Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


So Samsung's PR is working the MR boards now, so sad :D
Rating: 12 Votes
14 months ago

Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


Be prepared to eat your words dude.
Rating: 12 Votes
14 months ago

Nice try, but Samsung's phones are actually quite decent. The back "plastic" that you Applesexuals complain about doesn't really feel cheap and it's finely engineered to withstand stains and scratches. 1 year and it still looks like brand new while my cheap, tin-can aluminum from Apple is full of scratches after 3 months of use.


yup, things tend to look brand new when they aren't used.

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Rating: 10 Votes
14 months ago

Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


Lower cost iPhone will cannibalise sales of more expensive Samsung phones. Expect $10 billion profit per quarter for Apple, while Samsung profits crumble. :D

What's the difference between these two statements? Yours is based on the assumption that Apple is run by idiots who don't have a clue about running a business. Mine's based on the opposite. Given that Apple has over $100 bn in the bank, mine is more likely to be right.
Rating: 7 Votes
14 months ago

Samsung sales are fueled by the anti-Apple group, which is growing daily. They'll gladly pay full price on the newest Samsung phone to give Samsung ammunition against Apple.
People who buy Apple products don't care about quality and features. They just want a phone with an Apple logo on the back. They would gladly trade in their $600 iphone for a cheap, $200 POS from Apple.

The fact that the iPhone 4 and 4S are outselling the iPhone 5 is proof of this.


Troll! ;-)
If people didn't care about quality and wanted POS phone with an Apple logo, why not just get a Galaxy SIII and put an Apple sticker on the back? ... then they'll be supporting Samsung and satisfy their ego at the same time... :)

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Rating: 6 Votes
14 months ago

Whatever I write is a crap :D


Your crap won't be heard here on the message board. Go stand outside of the Apple store and shout out to the people that buy Samdung :p

Guys more we reply to such Crap head, more he will dance around thinking himself great. Ignore this LOSER, yes LOSER :) BTW how are you taking Icahn tweet on AAPL lol
Rating: 5 Votes
14 months ago

Be prepared to eat your words dude.


iPad mini and iPad.
Checkmate.
Rating: 4 Votes
14 months ago

[...]

People who buy Apple products don't care about quality and features. They just want a phone with an Apple logo on the back. They would gladly trade in their $600 iphone for a cheap, $200 POS from Apple.

The fact that the iPhone 4 and 4S are outselling the iPhone 5 is proof of this.


Really? Is this "performance art" really necessary?
Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago

Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


Interesting opinion, 'SteveJobsLover1' :rolleyes:

And after looking at your previous posts, I have to say: troll in the dungeon, guys!

Rating: 3 Votes
14 months ago

Lower cost iPhone will cannibalize sales of more expensive iPhone. Expect sub $4 billion profit per quarter while Samsung surpasses $10 billion per quarter. :cool:


You're simply clueless aren't you? If Apple's margins drop but they sell 30 percent more devices, it doesn't matter that they're cannibalizing themselves. The other option is to let Samsung do that for them which is exactly what's been happening so far.

You cite the iPad Mini and iPad as proof but fail to recognize that money in is money in.

You would have advised BMW against buying Mini since high end Mini buyers would then not buy a 3 Series, which is silly since Mini captured a huge swath of the market away from other less interesting cars.
Rating: 3 Votes

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