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Weak iPhone 5c Demand May Be Slowing China Mobile iPhone Deal

With China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, having launched its new 4G LTE network without announcing an iPhone deal, questions have arisen about why an agreement has not yet been reached after many years of negotiations and evidence indicating that the necessary hardware is available and approved for sale.

According to a new report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the deal may have been slowed by the unexpectedly weak demand for the iPhone 5c relative to the iPhone 5s among China Mobile customers. According to Kuo's survey numbers, interest in the iPhone 5c from China Mobile customers has fallen precipitously from earlier expectations while iPhone 5s interest has remained high, and that unexpected mix of customer preference may be leading China Mobile and Apple to a renegotiation of an agreement that was nearly settled.
While previously we estimated that Apple originally planned the TD-LTE version would account for 30% of total iPhone 5C shipments, our latest survey indicates that demand for the TD-LTE iPhone 5C has declined dramatically due to 5S being far more popular than 5C among China Mobile subscribers. As such, we estimate iPhone 5C shipments of the TD-LTE version for China Mobile at 1.0-1.5mn units in 4Q13 and under 1.0mn units in 1Q14, well below Apple’s original production plan.

We believe this would necessitate a re-negotiation of the Apple-China Mobile deal and therefore defer its finalization.
kuo_iphone_sales_4q13_1q14
Kuo also remains conservative in his predictions of the impact of a China Mobile deal on Apple's iPhone shipment numbers for the first quarter of 2014, believing that the launch of the new TD-LTE model for China Mobile will be offset by falling sales in other markets around the world as momentum slows in the months following the iPhone 5s and 5c launches in those countries.

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

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 17 weeks ago

Why does anyone believe a single word Kuo says?


Because he has been right many times and has access to better information than you do.
Rating: 6 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago

For starters- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/23/tweaked-ipad-and-new-ipad-mini-said-to-closely-follow-next-generation-iphone-launch/

Also- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/

And- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/23/apple-predicted-to-discontinue-17-inch-macbook-pro/

Another one- http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19/iphone-5c-predicted-to-replace-iphone-5-iphone-4s-sales-to-continue/

Convinced yet? :D


If I cared enough to make the effort of looking, there are probably dozens of posts on this forum from people saying the exact same thing.

Here's a prediction, Apple will release iphone 6 next year and it will sell out and be in high demand...I'll bump this in a year and I'm saying it way before Kuo. Call me Nostradamus.
Rating: 5 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago

Right about what?


For starters- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/23/tweaked-ipad-and-new-ipad-mini-said-to-closely-follow-next-generation-iphone-launch/

Also- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/07/24/13-inch-retina-macbook-pro-and-updated-imacs-reportedly-due-in-september-october/

And- http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/23/apple-predicted-to-discontinue-17-inch-macbook-pro/

Another one- http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/19/iphone-5c-predicted-to-replace-iphone-5-iphone-4s-sales-to-continue/

Convinced yet? :D
Rating: 4 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago
So Ming-Chi Kuo is speculating based on some survey he did. How is that newsworthy? I swear this guy takes a leak and the rumor sites run it on their front page as news. :rolleyes:
Rating: 4 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago
Why does anyone believe a single word Kuo says?
Rating: 4 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago

Why does the 5s/5c ratio matter again?
Don't these guys want customers no matter the specific iPhone model?


Because I think that carriers are required to order (and pay I guess) a specific number of phones. If the projected number of sales is lower than the cost of the purchase then there is no reason to order.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago

I or any of my mates are yet to see a single 5c in use outside of an Apple store I genuinely haven't seen a single one.

I regularly walk past a huge Apple store in the UK and almost always the 5c desk is empty of customers.

Maybe Apple are insisting that they take the entire range and they don't want the 5c?


As someone who commutes daily by train, I have say many more 5c than 5s.
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago
Nice job spreading around the FUD Ming (and Mac Rumors).

China Mobile & Apple Bring iPhone to China Mobile’s 4G & 3G Networks on January 17, 2014 (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2013/12/22China-Mobile-Apple-Bring-iPhone-to-China-Mobiles-4G-3G-Networks-on-January-17-2014.html)

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The issue is the 5s is seen as premium device over the plastic 5c.


So basically the 5C haters are just plastic snobs who thumb their nose at it because it's not metal. Even though both the 3G and 3GS under Steve Jobs were plastic. I guess those weren't premium phones either then?
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago
nobody wants to buy 5c and CM knows that and doesnt want to sign a deal that will land them a big pile of 5c's that will only be good for warehouse decoration.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 17 weeks ago
So you see many more 5C than 5S?

Seriously or is that an exaggeration?
Rating: 2 Positives

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